"Jelaga: The Dual Nature of Coal" stands as a profound meditation on the interplay of history, progress, and the choices that shape our collective destiny. Through this piece, viewers are invited to confront the complexities of human reliance on ancient resources and to seek a future that embraces sustainable practices and the preservation of our environment.
Jelaga becomes a metaphorical journey towards a future where human ingenuity seeks harmony with nature, transcending the shadows of the past.
This artwork explores the intriguing concept of using ancient coal as a black pigment. I collected jelaga, the carbon ash shoot from a power plant chimney, to create the paintings. The artwork reflects on the pros and cons of using such material, acknowledging its cheap and abundant nature, which supports technological progress but also raises environmental concerns.
I collaborated with scientists to experiment with this shoot as pigments, pushing our scientific research beyond academic journals. By conducting safety tests on the ashes and converting them into artistic material, I crafted the material and utilising the force of gravitation and carbon micro granules to create beautiful flow patterns. This series, called "Jelaga," delves into our reliance on coal as a resource with its enticing, enigmatic, and dark attributes, emphasizing the importance of careful control to prevent potential dangers.
Jelaga - Chimney shoot on paper