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Patrick Mahon: Cold Storage

January 17, 2009 - March 22, 2009

AWE Gallery

Consisting of a display of glass bones housed in a “cold storage unit” constructed of wood and cast-off Styrofoam along with related prints and drawings, London-Ontario artist Patrick Mahon’s Cold Storage deals with transition in the Northern landscape. His work typically involves print and drawing-based projects about historical and contemporary culture, often in response to museum collections.

With Cold Storage, Mahon challenges conventional notions of the North. It presents the Arctic as both beautiful and troubled through images and objects that examine the detritus of capitalism along with other elements – natural and historical – found within the landscape. No stranger to the region, Mahon lived in the arctic in the mid 1980s. He returned to Baker Lake, Nunavut, from 2004 to 2007 with other northern and southern Canadian artists to participate in a project called Art and Cold Cash. It was during this project that he began the work that would become Cold Storage.

Curated by Andrew Hunter and originally presented in 2007 at Render, University of Waterloo, Cold Storage is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with essays by Andrew Hunter and Laura Millard. Presented at the AGW to compliment Burning Cold, an exhibition organized by the Yukon Arts Centre of nine Inuit and non-Inuit artists who also examine life in Northern communities.

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