This article appears in Canadian Art, and is written by Leah Sandals.
Anishinabe artist Rebecca Belmore doesn’t shy away from big projects. For her 1991 work Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama-mowan: Speaking to Their Mother, she created a massive wooden megaphone that she then installed in various locations across Canada, inviting members of the public to voice concerns to the land directly. In 2006, for Toronto’s first Nuit Blanche, she and Osvaldo Yero created the sculpture freeze out of a huge block of ice to pay homage to Neil Stonechild and other First Nations people who were injured or killed when left out in the rural cold by police.
Still, a project announced today may be Belmore’s biggest yet. In a commission for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, Belmore hopes to create a gigantic “blanket” out of 10,000-plus clay beads that will be shaped in part by members of the public including schoolchildren and elders.
“The piece will probably be 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide,” Belmore tells Canadian Art, noting it will hang off a hooklike structure, and drape in a manner akin to a textile. “I’m a little scared at this point, because it’s a lot of work…. You have an idea, and then you have to follow it through.
Here's where we all have a chance to participate!!
People who want to participate in the project by shaping some beads can visit Neechi Commons, a community co-op, in February and March. That is where Belmore will have a studio set up and be inviting people to shape beads on a drop-in basis.
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- Submitted by Kathleen