Growing up in Upsala, Ontario near Thunder Bay, Rebecca Belmore would go camping and fishing on the lakes in the area with her grandparents. She was enthralled by the water, and when she was out exploring, she would think nothing of simply taking a dipper, putting it in the lake, and taking a drink.
"Now, I don't think we can do that; today, we must question if the water is safe," said Belmore, who is now one of Canada's most prominent contemporary Indigenous artists.
That concern is reflected in her creation of Nibi, one of her most recent artistic creations, in collaboration with TD.
"I am compelled to address things that are disturbing to me," she said. "I explore themes such as a water, cultural freedom, homelessness, and violence against Indigenous men, women and communities. For this specific piece, I was thinking about how water is a precious resource for all of us and I wanted to draw attention to this."
Belmore created the piece near her home on Lake Superior. The video installation documents the action of breaking the water with coloured shirts. In the piece, Belmore is seen dunking and pulling them over the camera lens, emphasizing the division between the sky and waterline.
The acquisition of Nibi represents a turning point in TD's new art strategy, according to Stuart Keeler, Senior Art Curator, Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group. Under Keeler's strategic leadership, he and his team are committed to breaking down inclusion barriers and collecting artwork that is reflective of all voices.
"The new TD Art strategy is exciting," Keeler said. "It is very much connected to The Ready Commitment and our goal to help connect communities, amplify voices and build a more inclusive tomorrow. As the landscape continues to shift and change across our footprint, it is important that our collection does so too."
"To make the world a better, more inclusive place it is imperative that people see themselves and the values they care about represented moving forward… our ambition is to help nurture progress and build a collection that is thoughtful and reflective of many types of experiences and viewpoints."
Learn how TD is helping to share art that reflects all voices through The Ready Commitment, visit www.td.com/TheReadyCommitment.