This exhibition will coalesce the work of two artists from different cultural and generational backgrounds, to bring together the story of the Ontario landscape and the histories which go beyond its beauty. Michael Belmore will assert an Indigenous, Anishinaabe world view, re-affirming Native ways of knowing into the stories we tell and images we show of the mountains, lakes and rivers which make up the land now geographically defined as Canada. The places depicted in A.J. Casson's oeuvre are places which, historically, bore spiritual and cultural importance to the various Anishinaabe peoples of the region. Many of these sites are marked with the experiences, legends and knowledge of generations of Anishinaabeg through the pictographs (rock art) which still inhabit these landscapes.
This exhibition marks the first in OAG’s Firestone Reverb series, where contemporary artists are invited to respond to selections drawn from the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art by putting new work into conversation with this respected collection of historical art.
Michael Belmore and A.J. Casson: Confluences and Tributaries, installation view, Ottawa Art Gallery, 2018. Photo: Justin Wonnacott