My work investigates the presence of the oil infrastructure and its use of our natural resources. The oil industry has become increasing present in our country as the industry grows and develops new technology for extracting oil and natural gas. The images are first drawn by hand and then digitized in order to use a laser cutter to execute the cut paper. In some of the pieces, hand cut elements are combined with the laser cut parts. Color, tone and texture are applied through gouache, acrylic paint, ink, pastel, as well as recycled motor oil, crude oil and carbon black.

In 2010, I closely watched the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico through the Internet live video streaming of the ocean floor. The image of the pipeline seeping oil clearly presented the earth as an organism suffering from a faulty and altered system. This image of the pipeline has become a constant form that I obsessively render using it as a way to abstractly reference the vast and intricate production systems of industrial landscapes. In the work, I examine the ongoing shifting of power between mankind and the earth, and present the intermingling of manufactured man-made systems and biomorphic configurations.

About the artist

Thum_headshotKathleen Thum’s drawings, paintings and wall installations have been included in numerous exhibitions such as “Into Abstraction” at Grossmont College in El Cajon, CA, “Salvage” at Parkland College, Champaign, IL and “Drawing Discourse” at University of North Carolina in Asheville. Kathleen’s recent past solo and two-person shows include exhibitions at Furman University in Greenville, SC and at Broward College in Davie, FL. Kathleen’s work is also included in the 2014 and 2015 Manifest International Drawing Annual Exhibition in Print. Kathleen Thum received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and her MFA from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Kathleen is currently teaching undergraduate and graduate level Drawing as an Assistant Professor in the Art Department at Clemson University in South Carolina.