Great North: Mark Preston & Couzyn van Heuvelen
Preston and van Heuvelen are both from the North; Preston is of Tlingit ancestry and van Heuvelen is Inuk. Both artists are rooted in their respective histories and traditions, but stray from those methods in unique and fascinating ways. This show aims to examine their perspective voices as artists contributing to the Canadian cultural landscape.
Mark Preston began studying silver carving under renowned Gitksan artist Phil Janzé while attending K’san in Hazelton, BC. He then began learning the techniques of wood carving. Preston is a multidisciplinary artist who works in a variety of mediums. His contemporary pieces are inspired by minimalism and abstraction. Preston recontextualizes Northwest Coast formline shapes by making precise cutouts into panels, thus turning traditional shapes into negative space. His minimalist, all-white motif symbolizes clarity, peacefulness, and open-mindedness. In this same vein, many of Preston’s pieces are purposely left untitled to allow for open interpretation of their meanings. Preston was born in Dawson City, Yukon.
Couzyn van Heuvelen is a Canadian inuk sculptor. Born in Iqaluit, Nunavut, but living in Southern Ontario for most of his life, his work explores Inuit culture and identity, new and old technologies, and personal narratives. While rooted in the history and traditions of Inuit art, the work strays from established Inuit art making methods and explores a range of fabrication processes. Couzyn holds a BFA from York University and an MFA from NSCAD University.