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UPRISING: THE POWER OF MOTHER EARTH
Christi Belcourt – A Retrospective with Isaac Murdoch

Exhibition Dates: June 22 - November 25, 2018
Opening Reception: June 26 at 7:30 pm
Community Art Build: June 27, 11 am – 6 pm

Opening June 22 at Thunder Bay Art Gallery is a major mid-career retrospective by popular Métis artist Christi Belcourt.

UPRISING: THE POWER OF MOTHER EARTH charts Belcourt’s artistic career beginning with early works showcasing the natural world’s beauty and on to her large sweeping murals, including her collaborations with knowledge holder, storyteller, and emerging visual artist Isaac Murdoch.

About 35 works spanning more than 25 years of art-making are included in this must-see exhibition, which runs June 22-November 25, 2018.

The works on display celebrate Belcourt’s artistic achievements, both in her solo practice and her collaboration with other artists, such as Murdoch. The exhibition features Murdoch’s iconic images, including Thunderbird Woman, which have become symbolic of the Indigenous resistance movement against resource extraction.

People love Belcourt’s large canvases which echo traditional Métis beaded designs. Her sinuous paintings are executed principally in tiny dots made by dipping the end of a stylus, paintbrush or knitting needle into paint. The time and stamina required by this technique speak to this prolific artist’s energy and commitment.

The show is organized by Thunder Bay Art Gallery with Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa). Paintings have been gathered from public and private collections. Exceptional works such as Wisdom of the Universe (2014), commissioned by the Art Gallery of Ontario and voted the favourite artwork in the AGO’s entire collection in 2015, will be in Thunder Bay for the five-month exhibition.


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Other works in the exhibition are on loan from the National Gallery of Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, and the Canadian Museum of History. The exhibition will tour nationally to galleries in Ottawa, Joliette, Regina, and Winnipeg until 2020.

In recent years, Belcourt has increased her artistic activism. In collaboration with Murdoch and Indigenous artist Erin Konsmo, Belcourt guides the Ontario-based Onaman Collective which shares Indigenous traditional knowledge and language with youth. Through all aspects of her art practice, Belcourt expresses her deep respect for Mother Earth, as well as the traditions and the knowledge of her people. She aims to guide people – with urgent passion – to live in balance with nature.

The exhibition opening reception is Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 7:30 pm at Thunder Bay Art Gallery. The event will be a time of celebration, reflection and storytelling for all members of the community.

The following day, Wednesday, June 27, 2018, Thunder Bay Art Gallery will host a Community Art Build from 11 am-6 pm at the Baggage Building Arts Centre at Prince Arthur’s Landing. Everyone is invited to work with Belcourt and Murdoch and other community artists to screen-print and paint 300 banners. The banners will be used in worldwide actions and marches. Onsite donations to the project are welcome. Open Mic for musicians and storytellers. Sustainable, Leave No Trace Potluck! Bring food in reusable containers and your own dishware and cutlery.

Images:
Christi Belcourt, Offerings to Save the World, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 149 x 194 cm, Collection of the Artist
Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch, New Beginnings, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 183 cm, On loan from the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, Ottawa, ON

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For more information visit our website.

Contact:
Alastair C MacKay
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Thunder Bay Art Gallery
807 577 6427
communications@theag.ca