Marcellus

Living in Southwestern Pennsylvania these last few years has been a bit like finding oneself onstage. Our small corner of the world has become a lightning rod for environmentalists and a literal gold mine for the gas industry and landowners. The Marcellus shale bed that runs 8,000 feet deep into the earth beneath Southwestern Pennsylvania and much of the northeast has recently been tapped for its rich natural gas reserves.

The images in this gallery are of the Marcellus pipeline traveling vertically, then horizontally, through the layers of earth through which it must pass to reach the rich natural gas reserves below us.

These pieces have become my way of understanding and expressing the drama that is unfolding. By creating these cut-away images of the layers of earth out of the earth itself, I invite the viewer to glean a more accessible image of “What Lies Beneath Our Feet”.

As I create each chapter in the Marcellus series, I rely more and more on native sandstone, limestone, coal, and the Marcellus shale itself to represent the layers. Much of the time spent building these mosaics happens out in the field, sourcing our local stone. With each piece, I create a more authentic representation of Southwestern Pennsylvania’’s fascinating geology and the industry that is once again putting us center stage.

Click on the images below to explore the individual mosaics in greater depth.

Rachel Sager "Deep Well" mosaic - Marcellus drilling and geology
“Deep Well” (2010)
Rachel Sager "Mighty Marcellus No. 1" mosaic - Marcellus geology and drilling
“Mighty Marcellus #1” (2010)
Rachel Sager "Mighty Marcellus No. 2" mosaic - Marcellus geology and drilling
“Mighty Marcellus #2” (2011)
Rachel Sager "Might Marcellus No. 3" mosaic - Marcellus geology and drilling
“Mighty Marcellus #3” (2012)
Rachel Sager "Mighty Marcellus No. 4" mosaic - Marcellus geology and drilling
“Mighty Marcellus #4” (2013)
Rachel Sager "Mighty Marcellus No. 5" mosaic - Marcellus geology and drilling
“Mighty Marcellus #5” (2013)
Rachel Sager "Mini Marcellus No. 1" mosaic - geology drilling
“Mini Marcellus #1” (2011)
Rachel Sager "Mini Marcellus No. 2" mosaic - geology drilling
“Mini Marcellus #2” (2011)
Rachel Sager "Utica" mosaic sculpture - shale drilling
“Utica” (2011)