A large-scale projection of a thirty year long digital artwork, with an environmental message, will be exhibited at Canary Wharf Underground station for 12 months from 13 May 2010.
As a part of a series of new contemporary art projects for the Jubilee line commissioned by Art on the Underground, artist John Gerrard’s Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez / Richfield, Kansas) will be projected on a massive 15m x 8m screen in Canary Wharf Underground station’s ticket hall for one year.
This complex digital moving image piece is a landscape constructed from ‘real’ information (digital photographs and topographies of an existing American agricultural landscape) mapped onto meticulously constructed 3D forms.
Over the course of its thirty-year existence (Oil Stick work began in 2008 and runs to 2038), Angelo Martinez, of the artwork’s title, arrives at an industrial grain silo at dawn (CST - Central Standard Time in North America) every day and departs at sunset. Every day he paints a perfect one metre square of the grain silo using an artist’s oil stick. Visitors to Canary Wharf are invited to watch this story unfolding three years into the life of the work.
The origins of Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez / Richfield, Kansas), alongside three other works in a series of four by the artist, derive from Gerrard’s research into one of America’s greatest environmental catastrophes, the American Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
The works tell of the present day exploitation of the earth by our consumer-oriented society.
Sally Shaw, Curator for Art on the Underground curator, said: ‘By sitting Oil Stick Work right under the financial heartland of the city, we get the uncanny juxtaposition of Angelo Martinez’s virtual task with the ‘electronic’‘or ‘virtual’ trading of stocks and shares in Canary Wharf’s offices above ground.
‘Commuters will be able to see the sun rising on this conscientious character every day of the year as he toils away below ground.’
Angelo’s work, and Gerrard’s piece, will finish on the day that American oil supplies are predicted to run dry.