The University of Melbourne’s Buxton Contemporary is proud to present Turbulent Water, an exhibition of acclaimed artist Rebecca Belmore, 10 December 2021 until 8 May 2022.

Turbulent Water brings together several key installations from the artist’s multidisciplinary practice, addressing social and political issues faced by Indigenous communities, and the connections between bodies, land and language.

The exhibition is co-curated by Wanda Nanibush, Curator of Indigenous Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, and Griffith University Art Museum Director, Angela Goddard.

Nanibush said: “In this exhibition Belmore’s innovative approach to using diverse everyday materials in unique and surprising ways brings us closer to a poetic experience of often hidden subject matter. By capturing the universal truths of empathy, hope and transformation, her work positions the viewer as a witness and encourages us all to face what is monumental.”

A member of the Lac Seul First Nation (Anishinaabe), Belmore was born in 1960 in Upsala, Canada, and currently lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. The artist’s body is a constant presence, enabling her to explore boundaries between public and private, power relations in contemporary society and the effects of colonization on Indigenous people, especially women.

Goddard said: “We are thrilled to be presenting the first Australian exhibition of this major international artist, whose incisive works and substantial career have been internationally acclaimed. The themes explored in Rebecca Belmore’s practice also parallel in many ways the historical and contemporary experiences of many Australian Indigenous people.

The works included in Turbulent Water use the medium of video in innovative ways to address the politics of representation, questioning official narratives and highlighting the labouring, struggling or missing body, drawing us in with images that are always visually seductive and often extraordinarily beautiful.”

“The powerful body of work Rebecca Belmore presents us with in Turbulent Water is a visceral and lyrical experience of the effects of institutional dispossession, oppression and victimisation. Mesmerising and haunting, this exhibition is a clarion call to address the legacies of colonialism, in Belmore’s country as well as our own,” says Dr Simon Maidment, Associate Director, Art Museums | Museums and Collections, Director | Ian Potter Museum of Art; Buxton Contemporary; Old Quad.

A series of public programs will be presented in 2022, including in-person events with local artists whose practices explore the exhibition’s themes within an Australian context.


Rebecca Belmore

Born 1960, Upsala, Ontario, Canada. 

A member of Lac Seul First Nation (Anishinaabe), Rebecca Belmore is an internationally recognized multidisciplinary artist currently residing in Vancouver. Rooted in the political and social realities of Indigenous communities, Belmore’s works make evocative connections among bodies, land and language. Her exhibitions include: The Musical Brain, The High Line (2021-22); Turbulent Water, Griffith University Art Museum (2021); RESERVOIR, Audain Art Museum (2020-21); Biinjiya’iing Onji (From Inside), documenta 14 (2017); KWE: The Work of Rebecca Belmore, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (2011); Rebecca Belmore: Rising to the Occasion, Vancouver Art Gallery (2008); and Fountain, Venice Biennale (2005). Performances include: Facing the Monumental (2012); Victorious (2011); X (2010); Vigil (2002); Wild (2001), and Creation or Death We Will Win (1991). Belmore’s sculptures and installations include Wave Sound, Parks Canada, 2017; Trace, Canadian Museum for Human Rights (2014), and Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama-mowan: Speaking to Their Mother, (gatherings in 1991, 1992, 1996 and 2008).

Belmore was awarded the prestigious Gershon Iskowitz Prize by the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2016. She received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2013, the Hnatyshyn Visual Arts Award in 2009, the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation’s VIVA Award in 2004. Canada’s official representative at the Venice Biennale in 2005, she was awarded Honorary Doctorates from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, in 2017, and OCAD University, Toronto, in 2005.

Rebecca Belmore and co-curators Wanda Nanibushare and Angela Goddard are available for interview. 

An exhibition from Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane. Curated by Wanda Nanibush and Angela Goddard.  Griffith University Art Museum presented the Australian premiere of Turbulent Water, 25 March – 19 June 2021. 

Turbulent Water opens on 10 December 2021 until 8 May 2022 at Buxton Contemporary, the University of Melbourne Cnr Dodds St & Southbank Blvd, Southbank.  Entry Free.   Wed – Sun 11am – 5pm.   Visit

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