Photograph by Bob Brink
Spirit of the Beothuk
by Gerald Squires
Beothuk Interpretation Centre, Boyd's Cove
Boyd's Cove, NL A0G 1G0
The Spirit of the Beothuk is a statue of Shanawdithit, the last known Beothuk who died of TB in 1829. The life-sized sculpture (which pays tribute to the Beothuk, the original inhabitants of this province) was created by renowned Newfoundland artist Gerald Squires, and cast in bronze by Luben Boykov. It is located at the end of a 1.5 km walking trail from the Beothuk Interpretation Centre.
In his "Archival Moments," archivist Larry Dohey (1959 -2019) wrote that Squires "had a vision of a female Beothuk in the Bay of Exploits, and wanted to honour the spirit of her people." The experience inspired Squires to begin making sketches for the figure. Corner Brook artist Tara Manuel recalled Squires inviting her to act as a muse for a series of works of the Beothuk. You can find these drawings inside the Beothuk Interpretation Centre.
Gerald Squires was born in Change Islands, NL in 1937. A painter, sculptor, printmaker, art activist and teacher, much of Squires' large body of work finds its inspiration in the landscape and culture of Newfoundland. Among many other honours, Squires became a member of the Order of Canada in 1999. /n Luben Boykov was born in 1960 in Sofia, Bulgaria, and immigrated to Canada in 1990. He is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia. He has been inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy and awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his extensive and widespread output of sculptures and exhibitions.