“Covering Carbon” Comes To UCF Art Gallery And Explores Coal, Oil, And Plastic
“Covering Carbon” comes to the UCF Art Gallery and explores coal, oil, and plastic. The UCF art gallery has taken a proactive stance this season with its captivating exhibition, “Covering Carbon,” thoughtfully curated by Kathleen Thum. The timing of this exhibit, which opened in August, couldn’t have been more pertinent, given the escalating gas prices and the increasing collective awareness of our reliance on fossil fuels.
Kathleen Thum’s individual showcase, titled “Covering Carbon,” is currently on view at the UCF Art Gallery, offering a reflective journey into the enigmatic realms of coal, oil, and plastic. This exhibition serves as a compelling commentary on the complicated relationship that exists between humanity and these finite resources.
Thum Is Immersed In Her Works Shown At UCF Art Gallery
Thum, who has immersed herself in the subject of fossil fuel production for an extended period, presents a collection of work that seamlessly blends her monochromatic drawings with large, vivid papercuts. Her pieces, bearing evocative titles such as “Petroscape,” “Blowdown Stack,” and “Offshore 2,” leave no room for ambiguity regarding their purpose.
These artworks serve as an emotional reminder of the profound impact of coal and oil extraction on our planet. They symbolize our relentless extraction of these resources from the Earth, often with little consideration for the consequences, like to sipping bubble tea from a disposable plastic cup.
Thum’s “Carbon Series” drawings, characterized by their grayscale palette, beckon the viewer into the irregular, fragmented contours of imposing black forms that boldly contrast with delicate ink washes. Through these drawings, she appears to convey a powerful message: this is coal, and by extension, this is our shared responsibility. The exhibition continues through September 29 at the UCF Art Gallery.
Works That Must Be Seen
The UCF Art Gallery exhibition showcases Thum’s remarkable large-scale paper cutouts alongside smaller pieces. “Petroscape,” an imposing installation anchored by pins, radiates a fiery luminosity that provides a striking contrast against the gallery’s immaculate white walls. A mesmerizing choreography of yellow and black lines, oscillating between the rigidity of geometric grids and the fluidity of organic shapes, defines the artwork. These lines converge from two disappearing points, culminating in a central crescendo of intricate knots, evoking a captivating sense of motion and mass.
This work manages to convey a sense of vastness lacking pretension, intimacy stripped of sentimentality, yet it possesses a peculiar beauty entirely on its own.
Towards the rear of the gallery, two pieces, “Residuum” and “Causation,” summon the viewer with a blend of fascination and disquietude. They extend the themes introduced in “Petroscape,” rendered in graphite on mylar—both materials derived from hydrocarbons, further underscoring the thematic link.
Subtle Hints Of Repercussions
From a distance, these tall, ethereal images suggest colossal structures. However, as one draws nearer, they transform into something more organic, resembling living tissue ensnared in frenetic capillaries, provoking an unsettling visceral response. These works subtly hint at the intricate web of repercussions woven by the fossil fuel industry.
Kathleen Thum will be present at the gallery on the closing day of the exhibition at 6 p.m., where she will engage in an artist’s talk. For those who have contemplated their own ambivalence toward gasoline, coal, plastic, and the contemporary manufacturing landscape, this exhibition offers an abundance of questions to ponder. “Covering Carbon” invites visitors to confront the complexities of our relationship with these finite resources and the profound impact they wield upon our world.
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