Rebecca Belmore creates performances that address memory, photographs that implicate the body and sculptures that evoke a sense of place. She asks us to examine our relationship to history by inverting the official narrative. She uses natural materials, repetitive gestures and her own and others' labour.
She references the struggling or missing body.
This post is about some of the artifacts that Belmore created between 1987 - 2004.
|Rising To The Occasion|
|wana-na-wang-ong, lichen, moss, roots 1993|
Sioux Lookout, Northern Ontario.
Wana-na-wang-ong means curve in the land or gentle dip..
|detail of wana-na-wang-ong side a (lichen)|
|detail of wana-na-wang-ong side a (spruce roots)|
|untitled (a blanket for Sarah) 1994 pine needles through metal screening|
|deatil of untitled (a blanket for Sarah)|
In it, he states that Rebecca Belmore's distinctive body of work is between.
Between two cultures, between order and chaors and between corporeal and visceral.
He says that her performances and installations are impossible to categorize and that the complex emotional resonance and diversity in her work is a powerful allegory for both her own inner self that of all of us.
|Temple 1996 ater, plastic, fountain, telescope, dimensions variable|
|Temple, 1996 water plastic telescope wood|
How removed are we from acknowledging that we are part of nature? How great is that distance? Rebecca Belmore
|black cloud 2001 wood and steel|
In Black Cloud dozens of nails were driven into a blackened, gnarled piece of wood that looks like a broken spine, a metaphor for human and environmental suffering. She was 41 when she made it.
|The Great Water, overturned canoe and fabric 2002|
|white thread, 2003 inkjet on watercolour paper|
The fabric binds the body, restricting movement.
|untled 1 2004 inkjet on watercolour paper|
|untitled 2 2004 inkjet on watercolour paper|
|untitled 3 2004 inkjet print on watercolour paper|
The body, used as a metaphor for the fragility of human experience
A specific place in nature and
Response to socio-political condition of the moment.
Rebecca remains unequivacally Anishinabe but by bringing the outdoors inside the gallery walls, nature is not separated from culture, and culture is not reduced to ethnicity.
All images and the ground of ideas for this text are taken from the Vancouver Art Gallery catalogue entitled Rebecca Belmore. Much appreciaton and thanks to the curators Diana Augatis and Kathleen Ritter and to the artist.