Big, Big Love: k.d. lang

The exhibition, called Big, Big Love: k.d. lang on Stage, was in the National Bank Private Banking 1859 Special Exhibitions Gallery on Level 5 of Studio Bell, and trace the versatile performer’s evolution as one of Canada’s most-loved artists.

“Working on this exhibition with NMC made me look back a bit on my life as a performance artist challenging norms, and how my evolving style became just as important as the performance itself,” said k.d. lang. “I hope the public enjoys the exhibition as much as I’ve enjoyed performing in those pieces and playing those instruments over my career. I can’t think of a place more suited than Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, to preserve those memories and share them with my fans.”

Through a range of visual displays, visitors will experience lang’s eclectic repertoire, from cow punk to Nashville country classics to Broadway standards and cabaret-influenced tunes—and the thrift store finds and unique designer pieces to match, among them clothing designed for her hit songs, “Miss Chatelaine” and “Constant Craving.”

A striped shirt that lang is seen wearing in the video for “Constant Craving” appears in the exhibition.

“NMC worked closely with lang to develop the exhibition and showcase over 20 artifacts, including an array of textiles that capture shifts in her sense of style and individuality as a performer,” said Adam Fox, NMC’s director of programs. “We are thrilled to celebrate the career and creativity of a true Alberta original.”

Inside Big, Big Love: k.d. lang on Stage. Photo credit: Jamila Kanji.

The exhibition also includes instruments owned and used by lang, and touches on her breakthrough album Ingénue (1992)— which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2017 with an extensive Canadian tour—along with back stories about her performance at the Calgary Olympics (1988), and insights shared by lang herself during a recent NMC exclusive interview about the impact of place and home on her career.