“This sculpture took me a long time to figure out as the shape of the horn made it difficult to design a body form, to create movement, and at the same time balance it on the base.
I wanted to follow the flow of the muskox horn and at the same time use the horn shape for the dancer’s body. I had initially intended to have a human head on the top looking back but it was too creepy. Inspired by my use of muskox horn on my “Swimming Loons – My Tribute to Kenojuak Ashevak” sculpture in my solo exhibition, I decided to make the figure into a loon. I designed it so when viewed from a certain angle, the body shape frames the drum.
The loon is performing a drum dance and portrayed as a shaman in transformation. She has an oval design on the belly of her amauti that is traditional in Labrador meaning the girl has entered womanhood.
The base is carved in Newfoundland anhydrite gifted to me by Michael Massie. The base seemed so boring, too much emptiness, and needed some colour so I decided to carve small pebbles in serpentine, alabaster and steatite. I felt the reddish colour in the steatite helped balance the pinkish tones in the drum.
I must admit I am really happy with how this piece turned out.”
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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