You draw – diverting, subverting, perhaps even perverting sensation into idea of sensation. The sane insensuality of the picture plane; a vision, a memory manipulated, edited, abstracted, and recreated to convince yourself you have mastered something, are in control of something. But before the ink is dry, or the graphite fixed, totally new perceptions – sensations alter themselves before your very eyes.
Excerpt from artist statement in Drawings from the Permanent Collection exhibition publication, organized by the Memorial University Art Gallery, 1983.
Scott Fillier was born in Roddickton, on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula, in 1939. He showed a talent for expressing himself through music, language and visual media while still a child. The awards he received, initially from Canadian Boy, a United Church newsletter, encouraged him to pursue an artistic career.
Fillier studied education for two years at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and during his second year, he took drawing lessons at the Newfoundland Academy of Art with Helen Parsons Shepherd. In 1963 he graduated from the Ontario College of Art. His academic studies culminated in 1972, when he received a bachelor of arts degree in art history from Concordia University in Montreal.
From 1968-70, Fillier completed his first significant body of work consisting of satirical drawings, and abstract collages in watercolour and acrylic paint. In 1979, serious health problems caused by paint fumes forced him to virtually abandon painting. By 1986, Fillier's health had improved enough for him to use water-based acrylic paints, which he applied to plexiglas.
In the relative isolation of his home in Roddickton, he began the Newfoundlandia series: Kitchen Figures, Dock Figures, and Boat Figures which were later included as counterpart to his published poetry. From 1983-91, he taught piano lessons in his art studio, where students were encouraged to draw while they waited their turn at the piano
Fillier now lives in Ontario where he continues with his music and art. During the summer of 2000, he took part in Making An Impression, a show of prints by artists from across Canada organized by The Gallery Stratford. In addition to being part of the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador's Permanent Collection, his work is found in several private and public collections including the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador