Bone Country is a once-off artwork created in response to ‘fracking in the Karoo’ by working physically with found and natural material onto one of the prints from the ‘Nuances’ series. Nuances is a series of unique, crafted photographic landscapes, printed in a limited edition of 5 prints each. Each work is a digital composite or montage of photographic images and scanned textures to depict a landscape that I have a personal connection to. The Nuances series subtly represents the natural landscape as a memory instead of reality, as humankind fails to change unsustainable habits and the abuse of resources.
“It’s not an investment if it’s destroying the planet”
– Vandana Shiva
The bones symbolize, in a not-too-suble way, the death that can result as consequence of industrial processes such as hydraulic fracturing. The bent and rusted nails serve as representation of the negligence and bad workmanship that causes accidents and tragedies such as the blowup and subsequent BP oil spill in the gulf of Mexico, groundwater contamination by fracking operations in the USA, and the acid drainage mine water in the natural water systems of the Witwatersrand in Gauteng. When human error causes the ‘foolproof’ industrial processes and tools to malfunction, it always has irreversable and devastating impacts on the area’s ecological system and people. The pollution and social impacts are lasting, in contrast to the fleeting lives of those who will be affected. The landscape as we know it could end up being just a mere memory.
This artwork was exhibited as part of The Industrial Karoo – Fear & Loss, 31 July tot 31 August 2014 at the Reservoir – Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein.