Date of Birth: September 28, 1962
Medium/Materials: Carving – Stone- Basalt, granite, antler
Billy Kuksuk is one of the most interesting and innovative artists to emerge from the community of Arviat. In an 1998 interview with Jill Barber Billy said “I learned to carve by watching a lot of older people, then I just picked up some stone and started chipping away” (109). His “uncle, Donald Uluadluak does oil paintings and drawings”, and his “younger brother Steven Kuksuk used to carve” (Barber 109).
Billy Kuksuk’s subject matter is generally figurative, often with abstracted components. He frequently portrays
spirits and Sedna, the sea goddess.
Billy has said “Inuit art reflects our culture but it’s for everybody.” According to the artist, Inuit art is about “our animals or our life because it’s who we are” (Barber 109). According to Billy “art is art –whether it is Inuit or not” (Barber 109). The artist that Billy most appreciates is Michalengelo Buonarotti (Barber 109)
A multi talented artist, Billy also plays guitar and sings. He has performed at the Taloyoak Music Festival and Winnipeg Folk Festival.
Compiled by Nunavut Development Corporation, 2012
Oct.- Nov. 2008
Spirit Wrestler: Shaman, Sedna and Spirits
Spirit Wrestler Gallery
Vancouver, British Columbia
Faces of Kivalliq
Canadian Arctic Gallery
Honours, Achievements and Events:
1980 Participated in the Winnipeg Birds Hill Park Festival.
1991 Participated in the Great Northern Arts Festival.
1994 Participated in the Rankin Inlet Arts Festival.
1999 Completed piece for the Iqaluit Stone Garden.
2004 Participated in Arviat Art Festival.
Was commissioned by the Speaker of Nunavut to make a
Kulik to be used on the 50th Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth.
Barber, Jill. “Carving Out a Future: Contemporary Inuit Sculpture of Third Generation artists
from Arviat, Cape Dorset and Clyde River.“ 1999. National Library of Canada. Web.29 Dec.2011.
Canadian-arctic.ch. Canadian Arctic Gallery. Jan. 2012. Web. 2012.
INAC, Inuit Artist Biography System, 1995.
Kuksuk, Billy. Personal Interview by Nunavut Development Corporation. Oct. 18. 2006
Spiritwrestler.com. Spirit Wrestler Gallery, 2008. Web. 2012.