Colin Lyons

Colin Lyons 1

Colin Lyons’ Fitzgerald Rig at Centre des arts actuels Skol in Montreal.

An installation of kinetic and sculptural prints exploring the transformation of abandoned industrial landscapes, particularly that of the artist’s native Petrolia (Ontario), which had been a prosperous oil town in the early 20th century. The oil fields represented in the installation are activated by the printmaking process itself: the gradual erosion of the plates used in producing the work fuels—and exhausts—its movement…

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Working from photographs and his own memories of the Petrolia Discovery, where he worked as a student, Lyons has re-constructed the Fitzgerald Rig, from the jerker lines to the massive bull wheel. Each element is treated as an etching, with the pulled prints cut and folded into sculptural forms. And while tradition has long stressed the importance of the multiple in printmaking, Lyons reinterprets this basic function by furthering the role of the etching plate. His Fitzgerald Rig begins pumping when the etching plates are dipped into an acid bath, using the ensuing chemical reaction to form a battery. Thus the plates that create the prints also power the kinetic sculptures, but their inevitable decomposition also terminates the print editions.

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The site also has a brief video interview with the artist. Unfortunately, according to this article, the battery never actually worked. Nonetheless, this is a great-looking installation.

Thanks to reader Diyan Achjadi for the tip!

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Categories: Artists, Interesting Printmaking, Print-related


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