Cold War Artefacts


Gil McElroy and Peter Dykhuis, Cold War Artefacts: Logroad: The Baldy Hughes Project, July 15 to October 9, Two Rivers Gallery, Prince George

By Janet Nicol

“I was an army brat,” artist and writer Gil McElroy says. “My father was one of the ‘cold warriors’ in the 1950s.” The Pinetree Line was one of three cross-country arrays of manned radar stations guarding against Soviet attack, and McElroy’s father worked on bases from coast to coast. Some buildings and artefacts of the period remain — including the Baldy Hughes Air Station in Prince George, and now McElroy and collaborating artist Peter Dykhuis have created installations about the Station, the second in a series of four Cold War exhibitions. “A wall of text provides a timeline of the history of the U.S.-built and manned site,” McElroy says. “It was a boring history until the Cuban Missile Crisis came along and things got exciting at the station for a very short time.” The exhibition also includes collages, maps and drawings. McElroy says many bases were either dismantled or simply abandoned and left to decay, and only a handful, including the Prince George site, were re-purposed. “Nobody remembers this time or wants to remember,” McElroy says. “But these military sites existed and shaped the fabric of our communities.”

Re-printed from Galleries West, Fall, 2011.


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