This Wednesday we will feature the work of Michael Belmore and his piece Tendency currently on display in the Locate exhibition. Belmore, of Anishnabe (Ojibway) heritage, was born in 1971 north of Thunder Bay, Ontario and is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He holds an associated diploma in sculpture/installation from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Ontario, and currently lives in the Haliburton Highlands in Ontario. Belmore is known for his sculptural work in a variety of media including plastics, metal, wood, and stone all of which are important to understanding his interest in nature as a commodity.

Tendency was created as a part of the Three Rivers: Wild Waters, Sacred Places exhibition and project which began in 2003. The project was organized by the Yukon Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), the Yukon Arts Centre, the Yukon Conservation Society and the Wilderness and Tourism Association of the Yukon.  Eleven nationally prominent artists, writers, journalists, and photographers were invited to join twenty-six people from the Yukon and Northwest Territories in three separate but simultaneous journeys along the Snake, the Wind, and the Bonnet Plume rivers. In return, these guests were asked to create works that responded to the Northern landscape which still sustains an aboriginal way of life. The aim of which was to heighten public awareness through an alternative vision that would help safeguard this vital boreal wilderness area.

Belmore's Tendency was a part of this national touring exhibition. Associated with the theme of mining and exploration through the use of copper, the artist explores a prominent Northern narrative. Here, a sheet of copper has been shaped by the artist to create the impression of landforms found along part of the Wind River.  The title, Tendency, suggests a subtle shift in direction, perhaps in the public's attitude towards resource use. Belmore's piece asks us if these precious materials, such as copper, are worth destroying and reshaping our natural landscape for the sake of a Southern demand. The artist’s work emulates the image of a topographic map, further emphasizing the way we look at nature: an expedition in search of resources. As Belmore notes, "The work is a reflection on the processing of nature; beneath the surface of the landscape lies a plenitude of materials ripe for commercial consumption." Free-standing on a steel base, this piece beckons the viewer to exerience it in close proximity to truly appreicate Belmore's masterful technique in metalwork. 


Copper and steel

36" wide x 48" high x 24" high