Oil Tide, study
30" X 30" oil on canvas
For information ...
The visualization of a key moment in the second book in my Sirens series.
The rant ...
Oil and water. They don't mix. Bad enough and in a marine environment no more than 15% percent is ever recovered, some experts put the number closer to 10%. But we're not talking about oil on the coast now, this is diluted bitumen, known as 'Dilbit', an oil sand and solvent cocktail thin enough to flow through pipelines. It floats just long enough to contaminate the shoreline. In a few days it sinks, once it collects enough ocean debris to weigh it down, contaminating the sea bed and putting it out of reach of clean-up efforts.
So why ship Dilbit? Canadian environmental laws and high oil-patch wages make on-site refining no longer an option with low oil prices. Since the invention of Dilbit a few years ago, oil companies are no longer building refining facilities into their new mine operations. Consequently oil sands carbon footprint has improved by 30%. A win-win for big oil. Looks good and is cheaper to boot. Instead, the refining is done elsewhere with lower environmental standards and cheap labour. Same footprint or potentially worse.
This is what Canada's pipeline battles are all about. Greater flow volumes are required to ship the oil coated sand, rather than separating it at its source and shipping just the oil.
Nobody is saying that the transition to sustainable resources is not going to take time. But investing 15 billion dollars in the Trans Mountain Pipeline is a step in the wrong direction. The investment will have to be recouped and beyond for profit's sake. Generations into the future will be handcuffed to oil for years to come. Not to mention the risk to BC's Coast and the increase in Global Warming from burning it. This is the very reasons for my Sirens project.
Imagine what a 15 billion dollar investment in sustainable research and infrastructure could do. That's a step forward.
Writing has long been a integral part of Mark Heine's creative process. In the pursuit of his original artistic voice, Mark's writing has evolved to become the driving force behind his work and has led him to envision a world of his own creation. Sirens, the culmination of 35 years exploration, is inspired by the sea-nymphs, made famous in Homer's Odyssey. These underwater visions of mythological muse are rooted in the moments of an ongoing and developing fictional narrative. This complex narrative, involving human evolution and our natural environment, is the unifying conceptual thread that ties these surreal visions.
"Oil Tide, study" was awarded first place in the "Environment First Art Competition" hosted by Artwork Archive. November 2018