Patrick Mahon is an artist, a writer/curator, and a Professor of Visual Arts at Western University, in London, Canada. Currently, he is Director of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts & Humanities at Western. Mahon’s artwork has been exhibited widely in Canada and internationally. Current and forthcoming solo and group exhibitions include: Patrick Mahon: Messagers’ Forum, Thames Art Gallery Chatham, On (2020-21); Written on the Earth, McIntosh Gallery, London, ON, curated by Helen Gregory, (group exhibition, 2021); and GardenShip and State, Museum London, London, ON, co-curated by Patrick Mahon and Jeff Thomas, (group exhibition, 2021, and ongoing community projects, beginning 2020). Patrick’s work is included in numerous private, corporate, and museum collections.
This is a work from the project entitled “Messagers’ Forum,” which I began in 2018. It was derived from images in cast-off graphic arts journals of the late 19th c., entitled “The Aldine,” that feature highly worked engravings inspired by the Hudson River School of painters. Aware of the challenged quality of those colonized representations, with their picturing of “idealized nature” and their pronounced absence of Indigenous people, I approached the archive to construct a collaged world in two dimensions – employing a ruin of images from 140 years ago that showed North American nature in a way that now appears both beautiful and troubling. Crafting abstracted and often disrupted works through digital printing and collage techniques, I tried to place the landscape and human expression in conversation and contradiction, hoping to provoke questions about the time and history of the world we experience – as passing, as present, and as promising a future.
Messagers’ Landscapes #3 (door)
collage with digital print, wood veneer and perforations, framed