Ongoing works with found Appalachian coal.
Since 2017 I’ve been working with coal I’ve picked out of the ground surrounding my home in West Virginia and then crushed by hand with a meat grinder.
Most pieces have taken the form of abstract paintings on panel made from a paint I create by mixing the crushed dust with acrylic medium.
Other works include ‘Sackler Treatment,’ an installation of gelatin capsules filled with crushed coal and ‘Gilded Coal,’ which deals with the varying costs of Central Appalachian coal on the international market.
To be neutral regarding the roll of coal in West Virginia is nearly impossible – the cultural, economic and historical impact of mining in this region is profound. Much of this work is a personal reckoning with the conflicting dialogues, political stances and personal engagements taking place around the topic of ‘coal country.’
Works in this series have been show as part of SOLOS at the Arlington Arts Center, American Abstract at Gradient Project Space in Thomas, The WV Invitational at The Juliet Museum in Charleston and in collaboration with Gina Mamone at The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC.
Read more about the works here: The American Scholar: Veins of Coal