Couzyn van Heuvelen’s work is a reinterpretation and reimagining of Inuit hunting and fishing implements. The sculptural works draw upon the artist’s relationship to Inuit tradition and land-based material culture and technology. Through his artistic process, the artist manipulates material – aluminum, glass, steel – to elaborate and distinguish the unique aesthetics and creative currency derived from utilitarian objects that define the maker. BAIT is a platform for the artist to further investigate his relationships and lived experience of his culture and identity through rendered artworks related to Inuit survival and sovereignty. The works in BAIT tease out the language of hunting, innovation and traditional practices through a framework of scale, materials and abstraction that is still uniquely Inuit. Through the presentation of van Heuvelen’s work, the exhibition addresses issues related to the transitional experiences between north and south, food sovereignty and the binaries of art, craft and function.
Couzyn van Heuvelen is an Inuk sculptor and installation artist originally from Iqaluit, NU, currently based in Bowmanville, Ontario. van Heuvelen received his BFA from York University in 2011 and his MFA in 2015 from NSCAD University. His artistic practice primarily consists of sculptural and installation works that draw from both art history and Inuit life. Across his varied pieces, he fuses traditional practices and forms with contemporary materials and fabrication processes.
Ryan Rice, Kanien’kehá:ka of Kahnawake, is an independent curator and the Associate Dean, Academic Affairs in the Faculty of Liberal Arts / School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) University (Toronto, ON). His curatorial career spans 25 years in museums, artist run centres and galleries.
BAIT is curated by Ryan Rice. The exhibition is supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.
There will be an artist talk at grunt gallery on January 11th, 2020, noon – 2pm.
Image: Couzyn van Heuvelen, Avataq, screen-printed mylar, ribbon, aluminum, helium, 2016.