|Copper with steel base
|91.4 x 121.9 x 61 cm
Tendency is Ojibwe artist Michael Belmore’s first major work in copper. It was created in response to his experience on the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Three Rivers Journey in 2003, during which 18 artists, writers, journalists and photographers made three simultaneous journeys down the Wind, Bonnet Plume and Snake rivers in the Yukon. Utilizing traditional metalsmithing techniques of repoussé and chasing, Belmore transforms copper — an Indigenous metal used by First Nations since time immemorial— to reflect the tributaries and landforms he encountered travelling through the traditional territories of the Na-Cho Nyäk Dun and Tetlit Gwich'in. Chosen to reflect the purity of the Wind River Valley landscape, the use of copper gains significance as a commodified material. Compelling in its topographic form, Tendency informs a wider commentary on resource extraction of the land and the impacts on Indigenous communities.