February 1 – 29, 2020
Feheley Fine Arts is pleased to present Bill Nasogaluak: Shapeshifter, a solo exhibition of sculpture by the Tuktoyaktuk-born artist. The works featured draw on the theme of the “shapeshifter,” recalling Inuit stories of transformation involving shamans, spirits, and animals traversing the form of one another. The Bear, in particular, is featured prominently. The animal is Nasogaluak’s helping spirit symbolizing power and strength as the top predator in the arctic.
Though sometimes even the robust Bear is no match for certain shifts that face the north. Environmental changes due to climate fluctuation and pollution are depicted—the Bear struggles through an oil slick in one piece and falls through the ice floe due to rising temperatures in another. Humans also face their own struggle. Nasogaluak depicts the social ills catalyzed by substance abuse, alcohol, and the advent of religion. These works conjure shapeshifting of a different kind: the soul may leave the body, but, unlike in the shaman world, it is unable to return.
Through metaphor, wit, and extraordinary skill, Nasogaluak poignantly reflects on the most pressing spiritual, social, and environmental issues of his time. In Shapeshifter, see some of the artist’s most compelling works from the last decade.
Bill Nasogaluak (b. 1953) is a self-taught sculptor and painter. He is widely known for his sculptures which reflect on the spiritual dimensions and contemporary realities of Inuit life. Nasogaluak has participated in and led many successful collaborative projects including design and production of the Ceremonial mace for the NWT legislature. His work is found in private and public collections throughout the Americas and Europe. Originally from Tuktoyaktuk, NWT, Nasogaluak now resides in Ontario.