Transforming Motion
Digital photographs documenting Transforming Motion, an exhibition curated by Terrance Houle and featuring the work of Duane Linklater, Nadya Kwandibens, and Larry Blackhorse Lowe. This multi-media installation was displayed in New Gallery's location in Eau Claire Market, Calgary, from May 15-June 20, 2009.

Transforming Motion examined the migration of contemporary First Nations people from reservations to urban environments, and vice versa. It investigated the social implications of a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle, and the impact of such a lifestyle on notions of identity and belonging. In his curatorial statement, Houle states that each of the three artists "...presents their interpretation of how they transformed "motion" to suit First Nations people in urban and rural settings and how it relates to their nomadic lifestyles...These artists all bring a sense of forward thinking to past conditions of First Nations people, and allow audiences to experience a contemporary Native view."1

Kwandibens, an artist of Anishinaabe/French descent, presented a series of portraits titled Concrete Indians, a term used by her father to refer to First Nations people who moved to cities in search of excitement.2 Her photographs featured First Nations people both blending in and standing out from their environments. “I wanted to ask the question: Does living in the city strengthen or weaken your identity as a person of aboriginal descent?” asks Kwandibens.3

Rezdog was video documentation of a performance by Omuskego artist Duane Linklater. In it, Linklater takes a small dog named Patchy from the Kainai (Blackfoot) Reservation to Calgary and back again. In the city, Patchy visits upscale pet shops and checks out doggie haute couture, while on the reservation, he confronts the stark reality of a less pampered life. Patchy's trip between the contrasting worlds can be viewed as a humourous analogy to the migratory expereinces of some First Nations people. Says Linklater, “I used the dog as an empathetic creature, as an entry-point into a conversation that works first for native peoples, but also to have an entry point for everyone.”4

June, by Navajo artist Larry Blackhorse Lowe, was also a video work. In it, the artist records a child named June Lowe as she goes about her daily life. She plays, does chores, visits with her grandmother, and attends school, where she learns her traditional language, Dine'. Shot on the Navajo Nation, this documentary captures what contemporary life is like for a young girl.

You can see additional material related to this exhibition on TNG's archived webpage, available here:
Description Sources
1. Terrance Houle, curatorial statement as published in the invitation to Transforming Motion, 2009
2. Travis Murphy, "Rezdogs and city slickers: Transforming Motion takes a long look at First Nations identity." FFWD, May 21, 2009.
3. Nadya Kwandibens, quoted in Murphy, "Rezdogs and city slickers." FFWD, May 21, 2009.
4. Duane Linklater, quoted in Murphy, "Rezdogs and city slickers." FFWD, May 21, 2009.
Id number
exhibition image > digital photograph
Year 2009
Coverage (yyyy-mm-dd) May 15 to June 20 2009
Credit line Images from the collection of The New Gallery
Permissions Images reproduced with the artists' permission. These images are displayed for reference purposes only. Read more about our copyright policy here.
Related entities
Terrance Houle, individual (was curated by)
Nadya Kwandibens, individual (was created by)
Duane Linklater, individual (was created by)
Larry Blackhorse Lowe, individual (was created by)
The New Gallery, gallery (was photographed by)
Related places
Main Space (was exhibited in)