Sikkuark’s drawings and sculptures illustrate the entanglements between the natural and the supernatural worlds. Sikkuark was Netsilik (the people of the seal) and Born on the land near Garry Lake. He worked primarily in sculpture until 2003, after which his practice shifted to drawing. His uncanny works oscillate between the natural and the supernatural. In his sculptures, everything is in motion—carved spirits fly, jump, and dance; whale hunters face their prey; and snow worms with affable faces balance delicately on their tails.

In his drawings, faces and bodies emerge from multicoloured patterns that are evocative of lichen or electrical currents. Much like Sikkuark’s sculptures, his drawings feature people and things in motion—shamans zip through the air, leaving trails of cosmic dust; drops of what initially look like water or snow are eyes. Sikkuark was intrigued by perception, which is evident in his representations of the supernatural as well as the push and pull of perspectival space. In many of his drawings, the foreground and background are interchangeable, affecting how and what you see.

Bio

Nick Sikkuark (Inuit, born in 1943, Garry Lake, NU, Canada; died in 2013 in Kugaaruk, NU, Canada) began his carving career in 1967 when he was in Gjoa Haven. As a young man he studied for the clergy in Winnipeg and Ottawa before settling in Kugaaruk, Nunavut. It was there that Sikkuark began using organic materials to make the fantastical sculptures. In 2003, Sikkuark shifted his practice from carving to drawing on paper, producing a significant body of work in the medium.

Exhibition Site

259 Lake Shore Blvd East

The life of this nondescript building reveals the area’s economic history. Its first tenant in 1945, the Standard Chemical Company, produced methanol, formaldehyde, and charcoal. A railway line to the south tethered the site to the movement of goods. By 1954, the building was divided into a warehouse and a showroom, a configuration that remained intact over the course of various leaseholders, including oil and electrical supply companies and a series of car dealerships. (The advertising of its most recent tenant, Volvo, is still visible on the façade.) This building’s fate is indeterminate, as real estate development is increasingly filling the voids left by industrial decline.

259 Lake Shore Blvd East
Toronto ON
M5A 3T7