Transforming Motion

Larry Blackhorse Lowe, Nadya Kwandibens, Terrance Houle, Duane Linklater
Curated by Terrance Houle

May 15 - June 20, 2009

Nadya Kwandibens is of Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) / French heritage from the Northwest Angle #37 First Nation in Ontario. In 2008, she founded Red Works Studio, a photography company that empowers contemporary Indigenous lifestyle and culture through photographic essays, features, and portraits. She currently resides in Toronto.

Larry Blackhorse Lowe
is a filmmaker and educator whose work deals with themes of family and tradition within the Navajo community. His first feature 5th World premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005 and has since screened at numerous festivals worldwide.

Duane Linklater
is from Moose Factory, Ontario and is Omushkego Cree. Duane holds both a BA (Native Studies) and BFA and is a Master’s of Fine Arts candidate at the University of Alberta. His influences are varied, from artists such as Carl Beam, James Luna and Francisco Goya, to singing, powwowing, film, and hip-hop. Duance currently lives in the Rocky Mountains.

Exhibition curator Terrance Houle is an interdisciplinary media artist and member of the Blood Tribe. Terrance began his art career at ACAD in 1995. In 2003 he graduated with a BFA in Fiber. His work has been shown in Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto, and internationally in Australia and Warwickshire, UK.

Transforming Motion

Motion is a term for the act, process or instance of changing place and an active functioning state. As a Kainai/Saulteaux artist, person and former pow wow dancer the idea of First Nations peoples and “motion” intrigued me. I wanted to explore aspects of movement and how First Nations people moving from rural and into urban settings define it. I could recall growing up as an army brat and powwow dancer; we would be constantly moving from one place to another. It always seemed there were no set boundaries between the Indian Reservations, cities, provinces and even the Canada/USA border. I realized as a young adult that it was so similar to how my people had lived nomadically just over 100 years ago across the prairies following the buffalo.

I have been following this idea of nomadic motion through three emerging new media artists who I believe define this term by their First Nation/Native American backgrounds: Duane Linklater (Omushkego), Nadya Kwandibens (Anishinaabe/French) and Larry Blachorse (Navajo). Each presents their interpretation of how they have transformed “motion” to suit First Nations people in urban and rural settings and how it relates to their nomadic lifestyles, through photography, film/video and performance.

Rezdog is a performance documentation of Linklater’s journey to the Kainai Reservation (in Southern Alberta) where he sends a reservation dog and takes him to the urban inner city to be groomed and pampered. Nadya Kwandibens photo series Concrete Indians depicts First Nations peoples in urban environments dressed in traditional garments that seemingly engage