Padlaya was born in 1965 in Cape Dorset and began carving around 1977. He learned to carve from his father, the well-known sculptor and printmaker, Lukta Qiatsuq. Padlaya works in soapstone and bone, and carves each sculpture with much attention to detail.
“I like to carve transformations. That’s one of my favourite [themes], and shamanism…when I do transformation or shamanism carvings, [I hope] the younger people will see the carving in a book or in a gallery. I want them to know that these traditions have to be carried out. How do I put this? They have to know that our ancestors had a hard time to live, to hunt. Sometimes they were starving. Those carvings are important to me and I want to show these younger people – and others – that this happened before.”
Excerpt from “Padlaya Qiatsuk: Encouraging Young Carvers to Persevere.” Matthew Fox. Inuit Art Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 1, Spring 2001 pg. 26-28.