This sculpture is a tattooed woman mending her mitten. As I was carving the base I realized it resembled a hand so I decided to project that idea further by incorporating the needle and mitten. Her hand holds a needle with the thread attached to the mitten with a needle case at her side.
I used reference books to research Inuit tattoos of this region and traditional ivory needle cases. I was inspired to carve a fish design needle case after seeing one at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC whilst on my visit to Vancouver for my solo show in 2010. This fish needle case was hard to carve as it is so small. It has a stopper in the mouth that can be removed and inside there is a tiny spare needle. The amauti stone is an anhydrite from New Brunswick that I was using when I lived there. This piece I brought back with me when I moved back to Labrador.
Billy was born on July 7, 1978, in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. In his early years he travelled eastern Canada residing and schooling in Ottawa, Yarmouth and Halifax in Nova Scotia, then at the age of thirteen returned to live in Goose Bay. He now lives in North West River in Labrador and enjoys fishing and hunting on the land with his family.
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