Energy Futures Portfolio

Portfolio publication, 20 prints, 24 texts, edition 25, 51 x 36 x 5 cm, 2023

In this unique fine art print portfolio, 20 Alberta printmakers and 20 Alberta writers created their vision on sustainable energy transition and climate change in Alberta. The portfolio contains twenty hand-made fine art prints, and twenty texts (poem, short story, essay) printed on 13 x 19” sheets of archival letterpress quality, forming a tangible vision of Alberta’s Energy Future. The portfolio edition is 25. It has also been published with expanded text as a book: Reimagining Fire. The Future of Energy.

The desire to curate this project originated from the necessity in our society to combat climate change and preserve biodiversity. My practice operates in the transdisciplinary space of art, science, and social activism. This path has led to a Fellowship with the Energy Futures Lab (EFL) in 2018. The non-profit Lab is based in Alberta and consists of 40 to 60 Fellows and support staff. They are a network of innovators and influencers with diverse views and come from government and communities, the energy sector, First Nations, non-profits, academia, and the arts. The EFL supports change-makers as they collaboratively explore the following question: How can we leverage Canada’s assets and innovation capacity to accelerate an inclusive and equitable transition to a prosperous net-zero future?

Prints by Heather Urness and Jared Tailfeathers. Texts by Kathryn Gwun-Yeen Lennon and Larry Kapustka
Prints by Liz Ingram and Tara Manyfingers. Texts by Maggie Hanna and Mar'ce Merrell
Linocut by Hannah Gelderman
Screen printing the linocut images by Hannah Gelderman
Concept drawing and inking etching, Sylvia Arthur
Print and constructed object, Eveline Kolijn
Cutting woodcut print by Heather Urness.
Printing Chine-collé by Kate Baillies

 

Combining my experience as a visual artist and a Fellow, I invited submissions from 40 Alberta printmakers, writers, and poets. Artists and writers were paired, and everyone participated in informational group sessions with the Fellows-expert to learn about energy transition and be inspired. The artists and writers were free to choose their subject matter. Many go back to basics: the priority of having access to clean air, the soil of the earth, and water. The contributions are incredibly honest. While many decry the damaging pollution resulting from oil extraction, they acknowledge they are also part of its culture. Another strong theme is hope.

Alberta embodies a microcosm of issues that are encountered worldwide in the energy transition debate. Alberta, with most of its wealth derived from oil and gas, is steeped in today’s still dominant petro- culture. This relationship with fossil fuels creates resistance to change. Alberta has a lot of potential for developing renewable energy, as it is rich in sun, wind, and geothermal heat. The challenges and opportunities around energy transition are encountered all over the globe, which makes the Alberta Story a Global Story. Providing a vision through an artistic lens can inspire, empower, and feed action. Artists cannot provide definitive answers or solutions, but they can envision, clarify, question, and experiment with the entangled narratives of the energy transition. It is my hope that the prints and texts from the Energy Futures portfolio will stimulate reflection on this matter.

Mendeleyev’s Dream, Mary Kavanagh. Left: Photograph (Sky detail); watercolour on paper (Periodic Table of the Elements). Middle: Cut acrylic sheet superimposed on inkjet print on BFK Rives paper and cut acrylic sheet. Right: Stack of cut acrylic sheets with periodic table of the elements. Original notes on periodic table by Dimitri Mendeleyev (1867).

The portfolio contains a great variety of traditional and multimedia print techniques. There is a combination of relief print, screen print, etching, laser-cut acrylic and digital print, collage, hand-cut parts, print on plastic, print on fabric with natural dyes, hand-made papers, and cyanotype.

 

ARTISTS

Alex Thompson
Carole Bondaroff
Eveline Kolijn
Hannah Geldermann
Heather Leier
Heather Urness
Jamie-Lee Girodat
Jaqueline Huskisson
Jared Tailfeathers
Jessica Semenoff
Jill Ho-You
Kasia Koralewska
Kate Baillies
Katie Bruce
Liz Ingram
Mary Kavanagh
Nadia Perna
Stan Phelps
Sylvia Arthur
Tara Manyfingers

 

 

AUTHORS

Michael Leeb
Rosemary Griebel
Uche Umezurike
Alexis Kienlen
Lori Claerhout
Kathryn Gwun-Yeen 君妍Lennon
Kim Mannix
Natalie Meisner
Larry Kapustka
Shannon Kernaghan
Mark Hopkins
Monica Kidd
Richard Harrison
Emma Gammans
Mar’ce Merrell
Donna Williams
Barb Howard
Peter Midgley
Alice Major
Maggie Hanna

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