Our next Artist You Need To Know is Janet Bellotto. She’s an artist, writer and curator who is originally from Toronto and is currently based in Dubai. A graduate of the Sculpture/Installation program at OCAD, Bellotto also earned an MFA from Concordia University, Montréal. She has also been Assistant Editor for Tandem, of the Toronto Italian Daily Newspaper, and Managing Editor of the book Impulse Archaeology.
“Bellotto’s practice encompasses various media including sculpture, installation, photography, video and performance while examining the ever-changing world that she travels. Water flows through her work: oceans and waves, submersion and reflections, in-between states that are fluid and aqueous. Inspired by narratives and locations, the metaphor of water is omnipresent in her work and is a comment on submersion and reflection.” (from the red head gallery).
Bellotto’s exhibition history is impressive: she’s had shows (group and solo) around the world in such varied sites as Beijing, New York, Toronto and Venice. Significant ones include Lifesaving (Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey, 2016), Relation-Ships (Existence Doubtful) (MOCA London, UK, 2016), Art Stays 13—13th Festival of Contemporary Art (Ptuj, Slovenia, 2015), Joshua Treenial (Joshua Tree, USA, 2015), Nile Blue (Red Head Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 2012), Aquatica (Harvey Nichols, Dubai, UAE, 2012), The Lure (De Luca Fine Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 2011), 4th International Performance Art Show (Nahdet Misr Gallery, Mokhtar Museum, Cairo, Egypt, 2011), 12th Cairo Biennale (Cairo, Egypt, 2010), Drowning Ophelia (Stratford Gallery, Stratford, Canada, 2010), Point of Encounter (Tashkeel, Dubai, UAE, 2009), WAVE (The LAB, New York City, USA, 2008), Chinese Character Biennial (KU Art Center, Beijing, China, 2008) and Dehisce (kkprojects, New Orleans, USA, 2007).
A number of Bellotto’s artworks about Sable Island – in the series Relation-Ships (Existence Doubtful) – were published by lightbox + MAP Office, Venice, in the book Our Ocean Guide, 2017. Bellotto was also Artistic Director for the 20th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2014) held in Dubai, which was focused upon the them of location. (from the red head gallery)
“Bellotto’s art tries to capture the in between states that are always in a flux. Her installations scintillate and radiate as they weave through narratives that are seductive and hover between illusion and a shattering reality. Her practice also extends to curating and writing. Bellotto has initiated various artist collectives based on producing site-specific work or using spaces outside of gallery walls and creating cultural art exchanges.” (from the red head gallery)
An engaging conversation about Bellotto’s work in Dubai, and how site and geography influence education and art making (Teaching Art as a Second Language) can be read here. A short video of her exhibition at Zilberman Gallery can be viewed here.
Bellotto’s art often intersects with ideas such as disaster, fragility and mortality, and installations of her work often “provides a physical and psychological space for remembering, recollecting and honouring that, which has been lost.” (from here)