Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill shortlisted for prestigious art award

Five finalists named for Sobey Art Award

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The shortlist for the 2023 Sobey Art Award were announced by the National Gallery of Canada and the Sobey Art Foundation on June 12 and Vancouver-based Métis artist Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill was one of the five named to the list.

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“Her sculptural practice explores the history of found materials, enquiring into concepts of land, property and economy,” said a statement from Sobey Art Award organization about Hill’s work.

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Hill’s recent exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the 59th Venice Biennale, Le Magasin — CNAC in Grenoble, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Gallery TPW in Toronto.

Photo of sculpture by Gabrielle L'Hirondelle Hill
The Highest and Best Use, 2017, mixed media (deaccessioned artifacts from the North Vancouver Museum and Archives), 181.6 x 81.3 x 40.6 cm by Sobey Art Award finalist Vancouver Métis artist Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill. Photo by Courtesy the artist; Unit 17, Vancouver; and Cooper Cole, Toronto /jpg

“Congratulations to each of the five artists shortlisted for this edition of the Award. Year after year, we are amazed at the standards of excellence produced by contemporary artists from across the country. We strive to provide an experience and recognition that supports these artists in the way that is most meaningful to them, allowing them to focus their energy on their art. We look forward to seeing their work in the exhibition at the Gallery next fall,” said Bernard Doucet, the Sobey Art Foundation’s executive director in a statement.

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The award is Canada’s preeminent prize for contemporary visual artists. The winner will be announced in November and will be awarded $100,000. Works by the five finalists will be on view at the Gallery from Oct. 13 — March 3, 2024.

“The National Gallery of Canada is very proud to celebrate the 2023 Sobey Art Award finalists. The breadth of practices this year represents the multi-faceted texture and strength of contemporary artistic talent in this country,” said Jonathan Shaughnessy, NGC’s director, curatorial initiatives, and chair of the 2023 Sobey Award jury in a statement. “From the longlist to the short each of this year’s artists are deserving national and international recognition. The work of the five finalists present views on many urgent matters of our time, including 2SLGBTQ+ solidarities and representation, as well as critical questions regarding diasporic experience and Canadian identity. We all stand to gain from their perspectives that are propelled through a lens attuned to creativity, esthetics, and innovation.”

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The members of the 2023 Sobey Art Award jury are: Pamela Edmonds, director and curator, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax; Eve-Lyne Beaudry, curator, Contemporary Art, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec; Wanda Nanibush, curator, Indigenous Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Haema Sivanesan, director, Leighton Studios and Program Partnerships, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Banff; Matthew Hyland, executive director, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Cecilia Alemani, Donald R. Mullen, Jr. director and chief curator of High Line Art, New York, and curator of the 59th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2022.

The 2023 Sobey Art Award finalists, listed east to west by regions, are:

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Séamus Gallagher (Atlantic), a lens-based artist, infusing queer esthetics with self-portraiture, video game engines, and set construction. The artist explores the limits of representation, and failure as a form of liberation. Gallagher is from Moncton, New Brunswick and is currently living in Kjipuktuk/Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Anahita Norouzi (Québec), a research-driven multidisciplinary artist whose practice is articulated through a wide range of materials and mediums including sculpture, installation, photography, and video. Her work is impelled by marginalized histories, and the legacies of botanical explorations and archeological excavations, Norouzi is originally from Tehran, Iran and has worked in Montréal since 2018.

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Michèle Pearson Clarke (Ontario), an artist and teacher working in photography, video, and installation. Clarke’s work positions grief as a site of possibility for social engagement and political connection, with a particular focus on Black and queer experiences of longing and loss. Clarke was born in Trinidad and is currently based in Toronto.

Kablusiak (Prairies and the North), a multidisciplinary Inuvialuk artist and curator who uses Inuk ingenuity to create work in a variety of mediums, including lingerie, white flour, soapstone, felt, acrylic paint, and words. The artist’s work explores dis/connections and family and community ties within the Inuit diaspora, as well as the impact of colonization on Inuit expressions of gender and sexuality, on health and well-being, and on daily life. Kablusiak was born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and they are currently based in Calgary, Alberta.

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Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill (West Coast & Yukon), a Métis artist and writer. Her sculptural practice explores the history of found materials, enquiring into concepts of land, property, and economy. Hill was born in Comox and currently lives on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples/Vancouver, B.C.

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