Christi Belcourt is one of Canada’s preeminent Métis visual artists. One of her designs was selected this summer to be rendered into stained glass and installed in the House of Commons in Ottawa. The work is in honour of residential school students and families. Belcourt celebrates the beauty of the natural world, often in floral patterns inspired by Métis and First Nations historical beadwork art. (Above: Honoring my Spirit Helpers – Baagitchigawag Manitou, acrylic on canvas, 88 x 158″)
She says the focus of her work “is to attempt to transfer ‘beadwork’ to canvas, and in so doing, add commentary and expression within the work beyond the purely aesthetic.” (Above: Water Song, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 153;” Below: Watersong, detail)
“In my early work I began by placing a few ‘dots’ within my paintings to suggest beadwork. The process has now developed to where entire floral patterns are created in ‘dots’ by dipping the end of a paintbrush or knitting needle into the paint and pressing it onto canvas. The effect is thousands of raised dots per canvas that simulate beadwork. ” -Artist Statement
She is the author of Medicines To Help Us (Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2007), Beadwork (Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2010) Christi has won recognition for her fine artistry through numerous exhibitions. Her work has been commissioned by the Gabriel Dumont Institute (Saskatoon), the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Centre for Traditional Knowledge & Museum of Nature (Ottawa), the Indian and Inuit Art Collection (Hull) and is found in the permanent collections of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Canadian Museum of Civilization, First People’s Hall. She has been studying traditional plants and plant uses for numerous years. See Christi Belcourt’s website, here.