Heavily influenced by aerial images of large-scale surface mining that is being operated in the Canada’s Athabasca oil sands, these works show uncanny parallels to the earth’s surface created by the similarity of materials used.
Though these mining areas are inadvertent monuments to their destructive nature, the treatment of the surrounding environment and its outcome abides to the laws of nature on a grand scale. It is due to these irrevocable natural laws, that the treatment of the materials on the surface of the canvas can emulate what is visible all around the Earth.
With global temperatures and water levels of the oceans rising, open surface mining of oil sands is a testament to the destructive nature of our dependency on fossil fuel. The imminently visible destruction of large areas of landscape to harvest crude oil, which at the end of a long cycle of intermediate steps contributes to the warming of the planet. Now, with the recent denial of climate change on the rise, it is even more urgent to highlight these mining actions and the impact of fossil fuel on our life at large.
The intricacy of the subject matter is mirrored in the work’s technique. Types of metal are treated with various acids in different levels of strength, as well as other chemicals, to undergo an accelerated process of oxidisation. Furthermore, some canvases are stored outside of the studio to get exposed to the elements.
The inherent beauty of the works at first glance is deceiving and almost plays with similarities to the multistable perceptual phenomena. When one first encounters the images, the visual story they tell will immediately be altered after their true intend becomes clear.
Each canvas can be seen as a monument to our time and at the same time as premonitions of a potential future.
BUFFALO HEAD HILLS