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Eamon Mac Mahon is a Canadian artist working with photography and video.
He grew up in the coal-mining town of Grande Cache, Alberta, exposing him
to the Canadian wilderness at a young age – this exposure is reflected in his
work. His photographs have been published in the Walrus, National Geographic,
Capricious, MIT Press, and the New Yorker, and his career has taken him
around the world. Amazon of the North, commissioned by the Walrus Foundation
in 2011, portrays a deep connection and respect for the Canadian Boreal Forest.
The images on display capture scenes of the Canadian Boreal Forest from east to west, presenting various ecosystems touched and untouched by human development. The forest has always instilled a strong sense of well-being in Mac Mahon, and as a child it offered a space for exploration. By documenting the Boreal Forest, Canada’s most remarkable landscape and natural resource, Mac Mahon has created a body of work that is both insightful and stimulating. The work reveals the natural functions and human developments within the forest that affect a range of ecosystems and unique and sensitive species.
Amazon of the North reveals the majesty and significance of the Boreal Forest and its ecosystems, while presenting the dominant industries that depend on its natural resources. On one wall we are reminded of the natural functions of the forest that allow it to regenerate, balance, and support healthy animal populations and plant life. The opposing wall reveals development within the landscape that reaches farther each year.
The woodland caribou in this series
is an embodiment of the troubles of the forest. As a species highly sensitive to
development, caribou populations are a strong indicator of ecological stability
and instability. This series reminds viewers that there is a delicate balance
between economic and environmental sustainability. In 2010 the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement initiated an unprecedented partnership between
logging companies, their customers, and environmentalists with the intention
to create a long-term protected network of land that will ensure the enduring
health of boreal ecosystems and woodland caribou. The fruits of this agreement
have yet to be seen, and if realized would represent a significant step forward in
Canadian environmental stewardship.