Thunder Bay Art Gallery


Open all year, this Gallery is the only public Gallery between Sault St Marie and Winnipeg, with a focus on the contemporary art of Indigenous and Northwestern Ontario artists including national travelling shows.


Christi Belcourt – A Retrospective with Isaac Murdoch
A national touring exhibition co-produced by Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Carleton University Art Gallery

Ends NOV 25, 2018

UPRISING: THE POWER OF MOTHER EARTH charts Christi 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.
Spanning more than 25 years of art-making, the exhibition of about 35 works celebrates Belcourt’s many inspirational, artistic, and collective achievements. The exhibit also features Murdoch’s art whose iconic images, including Thunderbird woman, has been become an international symbol of the Indigenous resistance movement against resource extraction.
Belcourt’s 2002 painting The Conversation – one of the most popular pieces in the Thunder Bay Art Gallery’s permanent collection – is made of dots that the artist created dipping the end of a paintbrush or knitting needle into the paint and pressing it onto the canvas. Like many of Belcourt’s best-known paintings, the piece evokes the traditional beadwork of First Nations and Métis women. Both Belcourt’s art and her poetry inspire reflection and conversation.

People love Belcourt’s works showcasing beautiful twining stems, flower blossoms, and root systems which highlight the abiding connection of all life across Turtle Island (North America). In fact, in 2015, Belcourt’s Wisdom of the Universe (2014), was voted the visitors’ favourite artwork in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s entire collection. The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is pleased to be able to include this work in the exhibition.

Belcourt’s collaborative work with Murdoch calls for action. Together, they produce powerful images championing the restoration of balance between all living beings and the natural world. People will be able to appreciate their dedication, energy, and determination in works such as New Beginnings, 2014, Collection of the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health. Read more about the Onaman Collective and artistic activism.

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. Specifically, view Becky Rynor’s story, From the Heart: An Interview with Christi Belcourt, to discover more about Water Song, 2012, an exceptional work on loan for the exhibition from the National Gallery of Canada.
Co-produced by Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa), the exhibition will tour nationally to galleries in Ottawa, Joliette, Regina, and Winnipeg.


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