Michif visual artist Christi Belcourt has always had a deep respect for Mother Earth. In the early 1990s, she began projecting this esteem in painted explorations of land and water. View From the Canoe #2 is a prime example of her characteristic style for which Belcourt has become internationally known. Her ancestry originates from the Métis historic community of Manitou Sakhigan (Lac Ste. Anne) AB. Raised in Ontario, Christi is the first of three children born to Judith Pierce Martin and national Indigenous rights activist Tony Belcourt.
View From the Canoe #2 is a visually enticing artwork that showcases Belcourt’s painterly referencing of Indigenous and Métis beadwork. She simulates the technique of beading by dipping the end of a paintbrush or knitting needle into acrylic paint and dotting the canvas, one “bead” at a time. In this work, the dots and the bright teal ovals evoke sunlight bouncing off the water. Interspersed amongst the horizontal bands of deep blues and algae green, tiny white beads suggest the appearance of bubbles.
This work was on view at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery as part of the exhibition, UPRISING: THE POWER OF MOTHER EARTH – Christi Belcourt – A Retrospective with Isaac Murdoch. This mid-career retrospective of Belcourt’s work brought together more than 35 paintings, calling attention to her achievements in over 25 years of art-making.
Originally published in The Walleye – JUL 2018
By Andrea Terry, Acting Curator, Thunder Bay Art Gallery