Fogo Island Arts and the Sobey Art Foundation announced yesterday that Kablusiak is the winner of this year’s Fogo Island Arts-Sobey Art Award Residency. Kablusiak will be the second artist to participate in this residency, which is hosted on Fogo Island, off the Northern coast of Newfoundland.
The Fogo Island Arts-Sobey Art Award Residency is granted to one of the artists shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award, which included the 2019 award-winner Stephanie Comilang, and nominees Nicolas Grenier, Anne Low and D’Arcy Wilson. Kablusiak, born in Yellowknife, NT and based in Mohkinstsis (Calgary), AB, was nominated in the Prairies and North category.
“Through a variety of media including drawing, sculpture, performance and photography, Kablusiak engages with cultural identity and diaspora with humour and compassion,” said Nicolaus Schafhausen, Strategic Director of Fogo Island Arts. “Reframing everyday objects and encounters, their work compels us to rethink perceptions of Indigeneity and speaks to human resilience. We are delighted to welcome Kablusiak as the Fogo Island Arts-Sobey Art Award artist-in-residence in 2020.”
Kablusiak uses art and humour as a coping mechanism to address diaspora and mental illness, using their practise to extend gestures of empathy and solidarity and invite reconsiderations of the perceptions of contemporary indigeneity and counter the stigma surrounding mental health. Recently exhibited at Art Mûr (Montreal) and at the Athens School of Fine Arts in Greece, Kablusiak, alongside three other Inuit creators, will be creating the inaugural exhibition of the new Inuit Art Centre this year.