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Air conditioner art scraps the norm 

NSCAD student Hunter Lake imprints old cool-blaster coils

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“Do you know how many thousands of times I’ve been asked that question?” Hunter Lake laughs when asked where he first came up with the idea to make art out of old air-conditioner coils.

He first spotted the scraps at a recycling depot in Dartmouth, but that’s not really the first time he’d thought of doing it. In fact, he remembers pressing down coils before—sometime as a child—but he can’t exactly recall when.

In his third year of fine art at NSCAD, Lake says he’s “looking for that look that no ones ever seen before.” And he thinks he’s found it in a mess of recycled aluminum. “No one's ever applied that concept before; no ones ever executed that concept.” To create these images, he doesn’t draw or paint. He strictly manipulates the surfaces of the coils to create an image.

It isn’t about the image itself, says Lake, “anyone can draw.” For him the emphasis is on the object he is working with and the idea that he can produce an image with just that one material and a knife or a screwdriver. “It’s a pretty strong statement to be made on such a garbage object,” he says.

A few months and 150 pounds of run-down air conditioners later, Lake has created around 20 pieces. He’s sold two so far: one to a man in Australia and one to a Dalhousie professor. One of his pieces will be featured on May 1 at the NSCAD Starfish Student Art Awards.

You can check out his art and others’ at the Studio Open House (Granville campus) on April 17 from 2-7pm.

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