Michael Belmore

Michael Belmore


Bridge (2016) $14,000
Copper and aluminum beads
16″ x 72″ x 36″ (SOLD)

Anishinaabe artist Michael Belmore’s Bridge, a wampum belt modelled on ancient material treaties that were typically made from quahog shells, and, as Belmore reminds us, historically distributed to establish and reinforce social and political agreements between and within Indigenous nations. The piece Bridge, however, is made of copper and aluminum beads arranged to represent the 1’s and 0’s of ASCII binary coding typically used in the operations of computers, cell phones, and video game consoles. According to Belmore, the braiding of traditional format with an often obscured digital language highlights “the forgotten codes that are the basis of contemporary realities that serve to connect, and sometimes divide, our communities.” The piece allows viewers to contemplate the supposed dichotomies between past and present, traditional and modern, analog and digital, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous technologies. Reading this piece requires active engagement, and like traditional wampum, insists on a responsibility in that interaction.




Resistant (2012) $10,500
Sterling silver, found stone, steel

52″ x 6″ x 6″


Left Standing on a Barren Shore (2018, reworked 2021) $55,000
Copper, steel
63″ x 30″ x 11″, 600lbs

Cascade (2020) $40,000
30″ x 56″ x 40″, 1700lbs

Rumble (2016) $150,000
Hand shaped and cut copper
TransAm hood life size


“The North American landscape, especially its watersheds, continues to be shaped by our divergent tendencies to that of nature. Rivers have been dammed, streams redirected and wetlands drained all in order to better satisfy the demands of western society. Over the past few years my practice has focused primarily on stone carving and the traditional metal smithing technique of chasing and repoussé. Through the arduous process of hammering copper, I have continued to map out waterways through calculated and miscalculated blows.”

Michael Belmore employs a variety of materials and processes that at times may seem disjointed, yet, the reality is that together his work and processes speak about the environment, about land, about water, and what it is to be Anishinaabe. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design, he completed his Masters of Fine Art at the University of Ottawa in 2019. Belmore’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in the permanent collections of various institutions and numerous private collections. His exhibitions include: Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON, Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art at the Peabody Essex in Salem, MA and HIDE: Skin as Material and Metaphor at the National Museum of the American Indian – George Gustav Heye Centre in New York.

Seemingly small things, simple things, inspire his work; the swing of a hammer, the warmth of a fire, the persistence of waves on a shore. Through the insinuation of these actions, a much larger consequence is inferred.


CURRICULUM (Downloadable PDF)

Also visit Michael Belmore’s Artist Page Central Art Garage’s main website.