Billy Gauthier: Sila

Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery

Billy Gauthier: Sila

June 22 – October 20, 2024
Curated by Darryn Doull

Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery is honored to host the first mid-career survey of renowned sculptor Billy Gauthier’s work outside of his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Sila offers the public the unique opportunity to experience key artworks in the artist’s most significant exhibition to date. As an artist and activist of Inuit ancestry, Gauther’s inspiration comes directly from an intimate connection with the land and culture of his home in North West River, Labrador.

For decades, Gauthier has developed his artistic practice into a complex, detailed and vibrantly dynamic body of work. As a shortlisted artist for the prestigious Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award in 2023, Gauthier’s work is primed for greater recognition. His sculptures are a means to share stories and life experiences. Gauthier explains: “My core belief is Inuit and our lands are synonymous: when our Nunangat is harmed, we become harmed and when our Nunangat heals, we begin to heal. I understand my work as a form of activism, carrying messages about the importance of caring for our land, animals and resources.” Ultimately, he brings into focus the shared threads of humanity, exploring the intrinsic faults that come with globalization, industrialization and modernization efforts that do not center indigenous populations.

Related Programming:

Opening Celebration with DJ King Kadeem and Filmmaker Jennie Williams
National Indigenous Peoples Day and Full Moon
Friday, June 21, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Free | Open to the Public

Artist Talk + Tour with Billy Gauthier co-presented by Filmmaker Jennie Williams
Sunday, June 23, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Curatorial Tours with Darryn Doull
Sunday, July 28, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 12, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.


Inuit Film Series

This series highlights the work of Inuit filmmakers, artists and production crews as they bring Inuit storytelling and knowledge into the new millennium. The worldmaking and sensitive bridging of traditional knowledge with contemporary media throughout this series are expressions of arctic cultural sovereignty and resilience.

The series includes many award-winning favourites. These include Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s feature length film Angry Inuk, which challenges outdated perceptions of Inuit by presenting themselves as a modern people in dire need of a sustainable economy, and asinnajaq’s Three Thousand, which plunges viewers into a sublime imaginary university that recasts the past, present and future of Inuit in a new radiant light.

Including a program of animated shots, the broad scope of this program provides richly varied entry points into the exciting world of contemporary Inuit film.

Inuit Film Series
Thursday, June 27, 7:00 p.m.

  • Evan’s Drum, 2021, 14:00 mins.
    by Ossie Michelin
  • Being Prepared, 2021, 09:00 mins.
    by Carol Kunnuk
  • Nalujuk Night, 2021, 13:00 mins.
    by Jennie Williams

Inuit Film Series
Thursday, July 25, 7:00 p.m.

  • Angry Inuk, 2016, 01:25:00 mins.
    by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril

Inuit Film Series
Sunday, September 15, 2:00 p.m.

  • Arctic Song, 2021, 06:00 mins.
    by Germain Arnattaujuq, Neil Christopher & Louise Flaherty
  • The Bear Facts, 2010, 03:00 mins.
    by Jonathan Wright
  • Shaman, 2017, 05:00 mins.
    by Echo Henoche
  • Three Thousand, 2017, 14:00 mins.
    by asinnajaq

Biography

Billy Gauthier (b. 1978, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL) is an artist and activist of Inuit ancestry currently residing in North West River, Labrador. Gauthier’s work is widely recognized for his tremendous skill with traditional materials and the extent to which he pushes himself and his materials’ limits. He has received many accolades for his work, including being named Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) Emerging Artist of the Year in 2011. His work has been collected by many passionate individuals as well as by public and private institutions across the country and around the world. Gauthier is represented by Nigel Reading, formerly of Spirit Wrestler Gallery, in Vancouver, British Columbia.


About Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery

As Waterloo Region’s leading public art gallery, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (KWAG) connects people and ideas through art. Its nationally acclaimed exhibitions and programs welcome all to be inspired and challenged through a deepened understanding of ourselves, our cultures, and our communities. For the benefit of current and future generations, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery collects, preserves, researches, interprets, and exhibits the visual arts. It offers dynamic public programs that inspire creativity and an appreciation of the visual arts in the Region and beyond. Established in 1956 and incorporated in 1968, KWAG is a non-profit organization open to the public and administered in the public trust. Admission is free.

KWAG respectfully acknowledges that we are located on the unceded traditional territory of the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishnaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The Haldimand Tract, land promised to Six Nations, includes 10 km on each side of the Grand River.

Accessibility: KWAG is fully accessible.

Visit Us
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
101 Queen Street North
Kitchener, ON N2H 6P7
www.kwag.ca

Media Contact
Áine Belton
abelton@kwag.on.ca
519.579.5860 x 214

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Billy Gauthier: Sila is proudly Sponsored by
Power Corporation of Canada

Supported by
The Musagetes Fund held at Waterloo Region Community Foundation

Artist talks at KWAG are generously sponsored by Momentum Developments and Sorbara Law.

Images (from top to bottom):
1. Billy Gauthier, Northern Frigidaire Diet, 2012. Serpentine, antler (Moose and Caribou), Muskox horn, slate. 8.9 x 10.2 x 8.9 cm. Collection of Chris Bredt and Jamie Cameron. Photo courtesy of Nigel Reading, formerly of Spirit Wrestler Gallery.
2. Jennie Williams, still from Nalujuk Night, 2021. Photo courtesy of the National Film Board.
3. Billy Gauthier bio photo, provided by the Artist.