Taloyoak (formerly Spence Bay) from the early 1970s onwards was known as a settlement in which sculptures, primarily made from whalebone, were often not realistic in any way. Instead, they often featured strange, almostgrotesque gures. While this Standing Bear does not fully fit into that profile, it is certainly an unusualdepiction of a polar bear. While polar bears do stand on their hind legs, they are generally in either an aggres- sive or a balancing stance. This bear is more like a human, casually stand- ing with his arms at his sides with a slightly turned head as if he is listening to something which has brought on a slight smile. It is a very engaging sculpture.
This area covers territory further north and west of the Kivalliq region. Two settlements in particular, Taloyoak (formerly Spence Bay) and Gjoa Haven are renowned for the most imaginative and distinctive sculptural style. These multi-media works, dating back to the 1970s were technically brilliant, sometimes grotesque and always inventive.