The multidisciplinary Inuvialuk artist and curator Kablusiak has been announced as the winner of the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s premier art prize, which comes with CAD$100,000. Kablusiak, whose multimedia work combines a variety of materials, including flour, soapstone, bed sheets and lingerie, as well as acrylic paint, permanent marker and words, looks at themes including dis/connections and family and community ties within the Inuit diaspora, as well as the impact of colonisation on Inuit expressions of gender and sexuality, on health and wellbeing, and on daily life. The exhibition materials for the award describe how in ‘Seeking to demystify Inuit art, Kablusiak also creates space for Inuit-led representations of Inuit cultures.’
The Sobey Art Award recognises Canadian visual artists at a critical juncture in their careers and whose work reflects upon and speaks of our contemporary moment nationally and globally. It is given annually to an artist selected from a shortlist representing the different regions in Canada. The 2023 jury included Cecilia Alemani, Eve-Lyne Beaudry, Pamela Edmonds, Matthew Hyland, Wanda Nanibush and Haema Sivanesan. The other finalists this year were Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, Séamus Gallagher, Anahita Norouzi and Michèle Pearson Clarke. Each of them will received CAD$25,000. The Sobey Art Award exhibition is on view at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa through 3 March 2024.