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ARTIST Q&A: Michael Belmore discusses his exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario

“Copper is like the blood of the body, the blood of the land; it is the essence of what flows from the land, connecting us. Copper is what keeps out the dark, keeps us all connected. It is the lines that are crisscrossed, drawn and pulled to the edge of wilderness.” Michael Belmore

Recently the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) was in conversation with Michael Belmore regarding his current exhibition at the AGO. Featuring two works by Belmore acquired by the AGO, Edifice (2019) and Breadth (2014), copper is a material that features prominently. The AGO writes, “both large-scale fragmented sculptural pieces are accented with copper crevices which, for Belmore speak, to the metal’s sacred meaning within Anishinaabe culture.”

It is this metal, precious to the Anishinaabe, a commodity within a global economy, that provides Belmore’s work with its signature inner glow and warmth. When encountering his work that combines two of the hardest natural elements – metal and rock – the light that emanates forth plays tricks with the mind. In modern times we have come to associate a light source with electrical inventions, many which require copper as a conductor of electricity. Belmore’s work evokes the afterglow of embers. A subtle call to remind us as to what we may have lost:

“Like the network built of copper, we have built other globally integrated systems that leave us vulnerable.”

Belmore’s exhibition continues through to November 21, 2021. View more details here.

View available works for purchase at KRG by Michael Belmore.

COVID NOTE: The AGO is currently closed.

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