image: Jeff Thomas

I:ke – I have motion

Rebecca Belmore, Scott Benesiinaabandan, Faye HeavyShield, Qavavau Manumie, Meryl McMaster, Nadia Myre, Jeff Thomas

A Space Main Gallery

September 23 – November 1, 2014

Curated by: Lee-Ann Martin

Artist and curator talks during the reception on Oct 24th at 5:30-6:30pm

Exhibition is Proudly Presented by A Space Gallery and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
Supported by the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective

The works of the seven artists in this exhibition portray individual ideas of motion and movement which, together, become testimony for the tenacity and dynamism of Indigenous cultures today and into the future. In Indigenous languages, verbs encode concepts of motion that include people, tense, location and direction. I:ke – I have motion (Mohawk) explores physical and metaphorical constructs that reveal imagineNATIVE notions of change, mobility, flow and transformation. The works in this exhibition complement and extend the vigorous program of films and videos selected for imagineNATIVE’s 15th anniversary festival.


Scott Benesiinaabandan is an Anishinabe intermedia artist who works primarily in photography,video, audio and printmaking. He has completed two international residencies in Australia, the University Lethbridge/Royal Institute of Technology iAIR residency (2013) and the Parramatta Artist Studios (2012) as well as at the Context Gallery in Derry, North Ireland (2010). He has participated in numerous international collaborative projects in both the U.K and Ireland. Benesiinaabandan was awarded numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council. His work has been included in several group exhibitions across Canada and internationally, including GHOSTDANCE at Ryerson Image Centre (2013), Subconscious City, Winnipeg Art Gallery (2008), Flatter the Land/Bigger the Ruckus, Harbourfront Art Centre (2006). His solo exhibitions include Blood Memories, Melbourne (2013), Mii Omaa Ayaad/Oshiki Inendemowin, Sydney (2012), and unSacred, Gallery 1C03 ( 2011).

Faye HeavyShield was born and raised on the Blood Reserve in southern Alberta and studied at the Alberta College of Art and Design and the University of Calgary. Her work has been exhibited throughout Canada in numerous exhibitions including 90×90: Celebrating Art in Alberta, Art Gallery of Alberta (2014), now and then, Public Art Project, Edmonton (2012-2015), The News from Here: the 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Alberta (2013), Witnesses. Art and Canada’s Indian Residential Schools, Belkin Gallery, University of British Columbia (2013), Art Quantum, Eiteljorg Museum (2009), Blood, Southern Alberta Art Gallery ( 2004), In My Lifetime, Canadian Museum of History (Civilization) (2007), Heart, Hoof, Horn, The Glenbow Museum ( 1993), and Land, Spirit, Power, National Gallery of Canada (1992). HeavyShield is represented in public and private collections throughout North America, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Kelowna Art Gallery, the MacKenzie Art Gallery and the Heard Museum.

Qavavau Manumie was born in 1958 in Brandon, Manitoba. In the early 1980s, he began working as a printmaker for the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative in Cape Dorset, learning to translate the drawings of the community’s elder artists into elegant prints. He started making his own drawings while he was still in his teens. Part of a new generation of contemporary Cape Dorset artists who are reshaping the community’s expressive traditions, Manumie continues to work both as a printmaker and on his drawing. He is represented by the Marion Scott Gallery in Vancouver where his work has been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions since 2009. His work has also been included in Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (2011) and The Drawing Room, Pendulum Gallery Vancouver (2010). He is represented in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada.

Meryl McMaster is an Ontario-based artist and a BFA graduate from the Ontario College of Art and Design University (2010). She is the recipient of various awards and scholarships including the Charles Pachter Prize for Emerging Artists, the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, the Canon Canada Prize, the OCAD Medal, and the Doris McCarthy Scholarship. McMaster was named Art Bank of Canada’s artist of the year 2012 and has exhibited in various galleries including the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Eiteljorg Museum, the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Ottawa Art Gallery, Peterborough Art Gallery, McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the Harbourfront Centre. Her work is in various private and public collections, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada Council Art Bank, the Eiteljorg Museum and the Donovan Collection. Meryl McMaster is represented by Katzman Contemporary in Toronto, ON.

Nadia Myre is a visual artist from Quebec and a member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg. Her multi-disciplinary practice is often inspired by participant involvement as well as recurring themes of identity, language, longing and loss. Myre earned an MFA from Concordia University (2002) and is a recipient of numerous grants and awards, notably: Pratt & Whitney Canada’s ‘Les Elles de l’art’for the Conseil des arts de Montreal (2011), Quebec Arts Council’s Prix a la creation artistique pour la region des Laurentides (2009), and the Contemporary Art Fellowship from the Eiteljorg Museum (2003). Myre was shortlisted for the 2013 Prix Powerhouse and the 2014 Sobey Art Award. Her work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including Sakahan: International Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada (2013). Her work was selected for the 2011 Montreal Biennale, the 2012 Sydney Biennial, and will be presented at the 2014 Shanghai Biennale.

Jeff Thomas is a self-taught photo-based artist and curator whose work confronts both photo-based stereotypes and absences of Indigenous people. His most recent solo exhibition, Mapping Iroquoia: Cold City Frieze, was shown at the McMaster Museum of Art (2013). His work was featured in a survey exhibition, Drive By: A Road Trip with Jeff Thomas, at the University of Toronto Art Centre (2008) and in a nationally touring solo exhibition, Jeff Thomas: A Study of Indian-ness, circulated by Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography (2004). Thomas’ work is included in many national and international collections including the Ottawa Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum of History, National Museum of the American Indian, Musee de l’Elysee, Museum der Weltkulturen, and The British Museum. In 1998, he was awarded the Canada Council’s prestigious Duke and Duchess of York Award in Photography and in 2008 he received the Karsh Award in photography.