Couzyn van Heuvelen

Couzyn van Heuvelen is an Inuk sculptor and installation artist originally from Iqaluit, Nunavut. Based in southern Ontario, van Heuvelen's artistic practice focuses on fusing Inuit art history and traditions with contemporary materials and technologies. Van Heuvelen's use of unconventional materials and processes, with elements of Inuit culture, mirrors his own process of exploring how traditional practices influence his everyday life [1].

Van Heuvelen's recent series Fishing Lures includes materials like silver and brass as well as muskox horn and baleen. Baleen Lure (2015) is shaped into a flat, thin surface and polished to a dark brown–black colour. Baleen comes from the mouth of a baleen whale and is a part of the whale's filtration system [2]. Laser-cut into the surface of the baleen is a geometric, triangular pattern done in a light brown–gold colour. To create this piece, van Heuvelen used a combination of 3D scans and digital technologies, which resulted in an effect that looks similar to patterns found on Inuit carvings [3]. This intricate, small piece of sculpture is attached to a brass fish hook and long thread. The overall aesthetic of the work is minimalist but is the result of a careful and involved process.

Van Heuvelen received his BFA from York University in Toronto, ON, and his MFA from NSCADU in Halifax, NS. His work has been included in several group exhibitions across Canada. In September 2017 van Heuvelen created a public art installation at the Southway Inn in Ottawa, ON, as part of the Lost Stories Project [4]. The piece, an aluminium sculpture of a qamutiik (dogsled) carrying baggage, commemorates the significance of the Southway Inn as a waypoint for Inuit travelling from the Arctic for school, work and medical services. Van Heuvelen has received many major scholarships and awards. Chosen as the Sheridan College Temporary  Contemporary Artist in Residence, van Heuvelen's Nitsiit (2017) will be featured in the Creativity Commons of Sheridan’s Hazel McCallion Campus in Mississauga in 2018 [5].

Van Heuvelen is represented by Fazakas Gallery in Vancouver, BC.


Citations/Footnotes

1. Erin Sutherland, "Constellations" Canadian Art (Summer 2017): 81.
2. Couzyn van Heuvelen, "Baleen Lure," couzyn.ca, http://couzyn.ca/Baleen-Lure
3. Van Heuvelen, "Baleen Lure."
4. "From the North to Ottawa's Southway Inn," Lost Stories Project, accessed February 12, 2018. http://loststories.ca/ottawa/index.html.
5. "Sheridan's 2017-18 Temporary Contemporary Artist, Couzyn van Heuvelen, presented in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Mississauga", Sheridan College, Accessed January 16, 2018, https://www.sheridancollege.ca/news-and-events/news/sheridans-2017-temporary-contemporary-artist-in-collaboration-with-the-art-gallery-of-mississauga