The Wisdom of the Universe

The Wisdom of the Universe

Christi Belcourt

When we learn to listen and govern ourselves according to the natural laws that already exist, this planet is a paradise. Everything we need is here.
Christi Belcourt

This is The Wisdom of the Universe, painted in 2014 by Métis artist, author and activist Christi Belcourt.

Based in Northeastern Ontario, Belcourt is best known for her large-scale acrylic paintings — like this one — that use hundreds of thousands of tiny dots to simulate Métis beadwork.

Image of Christi Belcourt in a red sweater in the street during a protest with her arm raised in a fist
Image of Christi Belcourt during a protest
A painting of an interconnected garden with plants, birds, insects and flowers on a black background

At the Art Gallery of Ontario, where The Wisdom of the Universe lives, the painting has become a popular sight. In fact, it was voted visitors’ Number 1 favourite artwork from the museum’s collection.

So why is it that this particular depiction of nature resonates so powerfully? What does it tell us about our relationship to the wonders of the living world?

What do you notice first?

The Wisdom of the Universe draws our attention to the tiniest details in order to understand the bigger picture. Shall we take a closer look?