HALIFAX - Northern Ontario artist Duane Linklater, whose work includes video and film installation as well as performance and sculpture, has won this year's $50,000 Sobey Art Award.
The North Bay, Ont., talent beat four other finalists for the annual prize, which honours an artist aged 40 or under who has exhibited in a gallery within 18 months of being nominated.
Linklater, who is Omaskeko Cree from Ontario's Moose Cree First Nation, has studied at the University of Alberta and the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College in upstate New York.
He's exhibited and screened his work nationally and internationally, and created the film project "Modest Livelihood" with fellow Canuck artist Brian Jungen.
"His positive and generous approach to art-making creates space for collaboration and audience engagement," said a curatorial panel, which announced Linklater as the winner Wednesday at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax.
"Linklater actively investigates the authority of language and pushes its boundaries. His practice simultaneously engages with wild, rural, urban and digital realms, offering refreshing positions on contemporary life.
"This allows for new perspectives within indigenous cultural production, yet it is Linklater's broad relevance to contemporary national and international art that is of great value here."
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia organizes and administers the prize, which was created in 2002 by the Sobey Art Foundation.
The other finalists each get $5,000.
Last year's winner was Quebec artist Raphaelle de Groot.