Indigenous Changemakers: Ace, Belmore, Davidson, Houle, Morrisseau, Poitras, Sánchez | Held over until Aug 31
Join us as we celebrate seven remarkable Indigenous artists who have all made an enduring impact on the Canadian art scene.
Available works range between $ 9,500 and $ 16,000.
Michael Belmore, A.O.C.A., RCA graduated in sculpture/installation from the Ontario College of Art & Design in 1994. Michael Belmore has exhibited nationally and internationally. His work is included in the permanent collections of various institutions and numerous private collections. Michael Belmore's most recent exhibitions include Land, Art, Horizons, North American Native Museum, Zurich; Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art at the Peabody Essex in Salem, MA; Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, an international exhibition of contemporary indigenous art in Winnipeg, MB and HIDE: Skin as Material and Metaphor at the National Museum of the American Indian – George Gustav Heye Centre in New York.
Resistant is more of a reflection on a captured moment in time. For several years my work has revolved around our use of technology and how it has affected our relationship to the environment. Through the use of metal and stone I have worked to create a dialogue that examines that point in which the water meets the land. I have always been impressed by the myriad of streams, creeks and rivers that navigate the North American landscape. Long before there were roads and railways, and long before the information highway, the waterways of this continent connected us to each other and the outside world.
Using the metalsmithing techniques of chasing and repoussé, I started to hammer copper sheet into the topographical forms. These often-large works were meant to evoke consideration on issues of value, and the cultural and personal projections that come from this response. Copper is indigenous to many parts of North America and mountains are literally moved in order to satisfy our industrial needs, yet it is a metal that lacks the connotations of preciousness, compared to gold and silver. As a pure element, copper has been chosen to correlate to the purity of the landscape, yet it is malleable and readily takes an impression, whether from a calculated or an incautious hammer-blow.
Resistant utilizes a stone collected on a tributary that flows into Lake Superior along the northern shore. Like most stones found on the edge of a river, they have been worn and rounded. They have migrated from upstream, carried by the water over the millennia, yet all exhibit highly individualistic characteristics in colour, shape and composition, reflective of their origins. While these river rocks may not have the monetary value of precious gems, nevertheless they are representative of a greater universal value inherent in land. Concern in regards to environment often mimics the flow of water, sometimes trickling in our collective conscience like a small creek from a glacial melt, at other times rushing like a torrential waterfall created by spring runoff. In the end, Resistant, with its precious undulating sterling silver form acts like a snapshot. The seemingly insignificance of water flowing against a rock speaks of a time, a shared experience, a visual memory that most can relate to. Through the insinuation of this action, a much larger consequence is inferred.
PUBLIC ART COMMISSIONS
Replenishment, Kagawong River, Kagawong, ON (2015); Inhalation, Sentier Art3, Sainte-Therese, QC (2014); Echo, Joel Weeks Park, City of Toronto, Toronto, ON (2014); Colony, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph, ON (2007); Digital Stream, University of Western Ontario, London, ON (2004); Esker, Kawartha Rotary Sculpture Project, Peterborough, ON (2001; Fireline, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, ON (2000)
Agnes Etherington Art Centre; Art Gallery of Peterborough; Canada House; Indian Art Collection, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada; Macdonald Stewart Art Centre; MacKenzie Art Gallery; McMichael Canadian Art Collection; National Museum of the American Indian - Smithsonian Institution; North American Native Museum; Thunder Bay Art Gallery; Woodstock Art Gallery; Yukon Arts Centre