Onya McCausland: From Coal Mine Waste to Landscape Painting


From Coal Mine Waste to Landscape Painting: New British Earths Symposium is a product of a collaboration between Onya McCausland and UCL who are working with the Coal Authority to develop a system of sustainable manufacturing that creates a new economic cycle of material exchange that integrates cultural transformation and raises questions about the role of contemporary land art. 

The symposium discusses the re-use and value of coal mine waste ochre materials and their position within the cultural landscape of the UK.

Water pumped from the flooding cavities of redundant coal mines inadvertently produce over 4000 tonnes of iron-oxide 'ochre' material as waste every year. Research at The Slade School of Fine Art has found that this largely untapped source of ochre presents an opportunity for the development of new earth pigment for use in paint that retains the identity of its material formation in the landscape.

What sets these coal ochres apart is the quality of their colour and their sustainable production as part of the remediation legacy of the coal mining industry. This is in contrast to the current practise of importing natural ochres from unsustainable unnamed sources across the globe.

The symposium coincides with a new installation of wall paintings by Onya McCausland using these five new earth colours in the Main UCL cloisters Five Colours, Five Landscapes opening at 6pm Thursday 26th April.

The speakers at the symposium include contributions from the fields conservation science, earth science, art history, industry, environment protection and fine art to examine the implications of the project from their different specialist positions.

Onya McCausland's forthcoming solo exhibition opens at Anima-Mundi from 22/6 – 24/7

For more information visit: http://cargocollective.com/turninglandscapeintocolour