June 2, 2019

Fracking Weld County part 1

Fracking Neighborhood, hand-stitched cotton thread on linen,  5"x5",  2019

Fracking Playground, hand-stitched cotton thread on linen,  5"x 7.5",  2019

Fracking Highschool, hand-stitched cotton thread on linen,  5"x 7.25",  2019

“If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while counting your money.”     – Professor Guy McPherson, School of Natural Resources, University of Arizona

These pieces are the first three in a series of six. This work is inspired by contemporary Afghan war rugs, with their vivid pictorial scenes and border decorations interspersed with images of tanks, fighter jets, Kalashnikov rifles, military helicopters, and other depictions of war. I created these small stitchwork pieces by referencing photographs of actual fracking sites in Weld County, Colorado, portraying the fracking rigs, tanks, and other drilling paraphernalia within the landscape. Utilizing similar visual motifs and styles of the war rugs, they include small repeating images- mainly around the borders- that I associate with the fracking industry: dollar signs, water drops, flames, and thermometers. I played around with different kinds of stitching, and each one has a slightly different style.

I'm calling the series Fracking Weld County, which refers to the county in Colorado where I grew up. The vast majority of fracking in the state is concentrated in this area, called the Niobrara shale formation. It currently has more than 25,000 active wells in this area alone, with many more permits pending. Many of the drilling sites are within neighborhoods and are very close to schools and playgrounds, and every time I go to my hometown of Greeley to visit my dad I'm astonished to see what the extraction industry is doing to this area and the ugliness that it brings. Using new technologies applied to horizontal fracking, the raw greed of the gas and oil industry, with the full complicity of the local government, has overlooked the health and safety of its citizens and of the earth itself in favor of profit. Fracking is extremely toxic, contaminating both the air and water. It also directly contributes to climate change by releasing methane. I think that true wealth is a healthy environment and an authentic connection to the beauty and intelligence of nature.

1 comment:

gypsy moon designs said...

Wow! For such an ugly and dirty subject...these are beautiful!