First Nations (Anishinaabe-Ojibway), born
Stone, copper leaf
Courtesy of the artist
Commissioned by the University of Michigan Museum of Art for Watershed
The Great Lakes region includes some of the world’s largest copper deposits. Copper has particular resonance in Anishinaabe culture, where it is celebrated as the blood produced by the conflict between the animikiig (thunderbirds) who reside in the sky and the mishibizhiig (panthers) beneath the water. These battling forces beget blood in the physical form of copper, which is the life source for manitous (spirits). In Resolve, water-worn stones are arranged in a seemingly natural pattern, yet each one has been carefully carved by the artist to join seamlessly with others. At the intimate points of connection, the stones are gilded with copper leaf; together they appear to glow like a fire’s embers. For Belmore, this visual energy links his work to manitous and to the original state of the stones themselves—molten fire that formed the land on which we live.