Western Pennsylvania has earned its place in human history for being rich in the marine deposits that create coal, oil, and natural gas. Our natural resources have built and sustained nations. For a while it seemed my corner of the world had passed into the catatonic sleepiness of post industry. But now, due to technological progress, the rolling hills surrounding Pittsburgh are creating drama again. The 5,000-foot-deep Marcellus shale bed runs heavily through this area. With the new drilling industry comes change and all of the excitement and fear that change inspires. As an artist, I find this drama irresistible. By using materials like sandstone, limestone, slate, and shale I am bringing the local geology concept full circle.
In this gallery I have recreated a factual representation of the geologic layers of earth that the drill will travel through to get to the Marcellus shale. With this group of pieces I explore what the exploitation of this new and valuable resource ultimately will mean to me, my home, my environment, my region, to the United States, and to the world.
Also related: The Marcellus series
Click on the images below to explore the individual mosaics in greater depth.