Cora DeVos originally from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut has been living and working in Vermilion for the past five years at Western Financial Group, but also has a successful photography business under the name Little Inuk Photography. DeVos specializes in Women’s Portraiture and also captures events, such as weddings and engagements, etc. The only photography she doesn’t do is of infants.
DeVos has been in the photography business for the past 12 years and is currently part of a project called the Inuit Tattoo Revitalization Project since 2016 which is led by her best friend. She explained that she captures Indigenous and Inuit celebrations as well as cultural activities especially that of Inuit women receiving or with their traditional tattoo markings.
“My best friend took it upon herself to learn the art of tattooing, so what we do is we go into Inuit communities where she brings a few different tattoo artists and I document the women’s journeys in getting their traditional markings and in the end we celebrate with a photo shoot,” explained DeVos. She went on to explain the importance of the women receiving their traditional line markings because it was something that was taken from their culture due to colonization and the residential schools.
DeVos explains that she came up with the Gold Series after watching music videos where she saw the lead singer of the Cranberries dressed in gold and thought she needed to capture the beauty of Inuit women with their markings covered in gold through her lens.
“The Gold Series celebrates Inuit women and our markings. It was something that was taken from us and now it is coming back into our culture. When we started there were about three women who had traditional markings before the revitalization project was born and now there are hundreds if not thousands of us that now have our traditional markings, and it is bringing a whole generation that is going to be growing up with these traditional markings and it is being part of our culture again,” explained DeVos.
After DeVos had captured some of the women with the gold dust she posted them to her Facebook and Instagram accounts where they were somehow seen by the Vancouver Maritime Museum which contacted her in regards to placing her photos in an exhibit that will show from October of this year until April 2023.
“It’s been kind of crazy, I shared the Gold Series on my Facebook and Instagram pages and somehow the Museum stumbled upon me and when they first contacted me I thought it was someone playing a joke on me,” chuckle DeVos, she said that she currently has 20 pieces in the exhibit which is titled Souls Ignited Empowering the Voices of our Ancestors. DeVos also noted that through the Revitalization Project they have also published a book called Reawakening Our Ancestor’s Lines in 2018 and that Chatelaine Magazine is also publishing a seven-page spread on her Gold Series in their November issue.