Image: Couzyn Van Heuvelen
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 teases 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 his work, the exhibition addresses issues related to the transitional experiences between north and south, food sovereignty and the binaries of art, craft and function.
BAIT is curated by Ryan Rice. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication that is co-produced by Artspace and the Owens Art Gallery and features writing by Ryan Rice, and Camille Georgeson-Usher and Bryan Winters
The exhibition is supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.
The last stop of the exhibition tour will be held at Owens Art Gallery (2021).
Couzyn van Heuvelen is an Inuk sculptor and installation artist originally from Iqaluit, NU, currently based in Bowmanville, ON. 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. Rice served as the Chief Curator at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (Santa Fe, NM) and also held curatorial positions at the Indigenous Art Centre (Ottawa, ON), named curatorial fellowships with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (Victoria, BC) and the Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff, AB), and Aboriginal Curator-In-Residence at the Carleton University Art Gallery. He received a Master of Arts degree in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York; graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking and received an Associate of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Rice’s writing on contemporary Onkwehonwe art has been published in numerous periodicals and exhibition catalogues, and he has lectured widely. Some of his exhibitions include ANTHEM: Perspectives on Home and Native Land, FLYING STILL: CARL BEAM 1943-2005, Oh So Iroquois, Scout’s Honour, LORE, Hochelaga Revisited, ALTERNATION, Soul Sister: Re-imagining Kateri Tekakwitha, Counting Coup, Stands With A Fist: Contemporary Native Women Artists and ARTiculations in Print. In the fall of 2017, he presented the award-winning inaugural exhibition of the new Onsite Gallery in Toronto with his exhibition “raise a flag: work from the Indigenous Art Collection 2000-2015.” Rice’s service to community, leadership, and organizational experience includes co-founder and former director of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Education Council, the Inuit Art Foundation and the Native American Arts Studies Association board of directors.