“One comes to know oneself, imaginatively, as part of nature;
and nature is understood to have a dignity quite apart
from its susceptibility to human control”
David Bromwich (“Natural Piety and Human Responsibility”)
The Deep is a moving image installation focused on the rich and coveted geologies of the Scottish Highlands and its communities. Interrogating the dynamics of power, enrichment and impoverishment that underpin conceptions of freedom and agency in our profit-driven societies, The Deep poetically addresses the impacts of human action, such as drilling for oil, on other beings, the earth and its atmospherics.
Work in progress.
Located in the Scottish Highlands, next to the Moray Firth, where the Beatrice oil field lies, is Cromarty Firth, a four-decade-long graveyard for decommissioned North Sea platforms. Removed from the site of the action, these obsolete structures appear desolate. They have now shed their usefulness as equipment for the extraction of oil. Disconnected from the power of technology, they seem smaller, exposed.
“What immediately confronts thinking is of course 'nature'...
[T]he simplest saying of the plainest image in purest reticence”
Martin Heidegger (Contributions to Philosophy)
Images: (top) The Dawning of the Rig, Cromarty Firth, Scotland, from The Deep series, digital c-type print from medium format film; (bottom) oil rig maintenance platform berthed in the Cromarty Firth, Anna at home and the Plockton woodland, Scottish Highlands, medium-format stills, 2023.
Research and development for The Deep has been completed. Funded by: Creative Scotland, in partnership with Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre. Photographic post-production at Metro Imaging London. The artist thanks Robin Haig, Malcolm Mackenzie, Isabel McLeish and Plockton Primary School. With gratitude to Edinburgh University, The Tàpies Foundation and Pompeu Fabra University for access to research resources. Production is planned for 2024.