Couzyn van Heuvelen, Artist – Bowmanville, ON
Couzyn van Heuvelen is an Inuk sculptor and installation artist originally from Iqaluit, NU. He received his BFA from York University in 2011 and his MFA from NSCAD University in 2015. 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. His solo exhibition BAIT opens on September 13 at Artspace in Peterborough.
Putting together this list, the first few current obsessions that came to mind were all tools, but for the sake of variety I’ve decided to lump these into one category. Learning a new tool or process is a big part of how I make work, so I get very excited about new tools. The newest tool in the studio is a CNC router I just finished building. I’ve had a few opportunities to access similar machines in the past and the process fits nicely with the way I like to work, so I’m really excited about the possibilities that come with having a tool like this in my studio.
- Stonecut printmaking stones
I have always loved and connected with stonecut printmaking, but have come to appreciate them even more in the last couple of years. I’ve had a few opportunities to see some of the stones used in this process and I have become really interested in the stones themselves. They are seldom seen and often destroyed in the process, but I think they really inform the artwork. I have been making work that highlights this aspect of the process, to celebrate the artists and printers I idolize, and to call attention to these incredible objects.
I love all kinds of games, including board games and video games. Most recently I have become a little obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons. A few friends convinced me to come to a weekly game about two months ago and I’m hooked. After a couple of sessions I bought this fancy d20, which combines some of my other interests: 3D printing and cast bronze.
- Fishing lures
This one will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with my practice. I love both ancient and present day lures, and I like to imagine what the lures of the future might look like as well. This fascination started as a kid on days spent fishing in Iqaluit. I remember trying to pick the lure that would catch the most fish. Standing and fishing at the edge of the river, slowly getting pushed up the bank as the tide came in. Lures would get caught in the rocks, and were sometimes lost, but as the tide went out we would search the river bed to find our lures, and the lures other people had lost as well. Small shining treasures wedged under the rocks.
- Country food
Maybe thinking about fishing lures has me thinking about arctic char, but country food is something I think about often. For Inuit, country food is our traditional food. When I’m stressed or sick or I’ve been eating too much junk food, I crave country food. It’s comfort food. It’s also a huge part of our cultural identity and lies at the center of many of the issues we face today, including food sovereignty and security.