Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory on winning the Sobey Art Award: 'This is a big deal for us as Inuit
CBC News | November 09, 20211
Thoughts on her win plus the harrowing origins of her latest piece, 'We killed a polar bear!'
Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is still thinking about Saturday night. The Kalaaleq (Greenlandic Inuk) artist claimed the Sobey Art Award this weekend at a special gala at the National Gallery of Canada. The event, she says, doubled as something of a "pandemic reunion," as family and friends — many of whom travelled to Ottawa to be there — were with her when her name was called. "It's been remarkable," she tells CBC Arts, "all of us getting to spend so much time together being raucous." And she'll soon be returning home to Iqaluit with $100,000.
For emerging visual artists, there are few prizes in the world as valuable as the Sobey. Since its creation in 2002, an age limit excluded competitors over 40 — but that rule was discarded this year, prompting an unprecedented number of nominations, as more than 200 names were recommended for the longlist. Williamson Bathory, who was chosen by a jury of Canadian and international curators, has just turned 42. The four artists who joined her on the 2021 shortlistare Lorna Bauer (41), Rémi Belliveau (32), Gabi Dao (30) and Rajni Perera (36). These finalists received $25,000 each, and an exhibition of original works by the shortlisted artists is appearing at the National Gallery through Feb. 20.