I was recently forwarded a link to a photographer’s work online, titled Industrial Scars. Intrigued by its name, I was expecting images of the Industrial Revolution or old building structures. To my surprise, the artist, Henry Fair, has a small collection that beautifully portrays the damage our petroleum and coal consumption is doing to the environment.
And yes, I meant ‘beautifully portrays the damage.’ At first, I felt guilty and torn for being drawn to the images. I didn’t know what message Fair means to send and couldn’t tell if he is concerned or ignorant of the damage. Until I read his statement, which I’ve excerpted from the webpage below:
I see our culture as being addicted to petroleum and the unsustainable consumption of other natural resources, which seems to portend a future of scarcity. My vision is of a different possibility, arrived at through careful husbandry of resources and adjustment of our desires and consumption patterns toward a future of health and plenty.
…At first, I photographed “ugly” things; which is, in essence, throwing the issue in people’s faces. Over time, I began to photograph all these things with an eye to making them both beautiful and frightening simultaneously, a seemingly irreconcilable mission, but actually quite achievable given the subject matter.
I’d like to be able to post a photograph here, but I’m certain there would be legal issues with that. So, I’ll simply encourage you to take a look at the photos at the site (and once in the portfolio, chose to read the captions – one of the choices on the bottom toolbar) and to reflect on them.
– Kari Manlove