Piers Secunda – CIRCLING SKIES

An exhibition of unique prints

A Mechanic Maintains A Car 1900, 2015 Texas crude oil and varnish on industrial floor paint

In his on-going series of mono prints using crude oil as a printing medium, Secunda is both literally and figuratively painting the developments which have carried the world from the Industrial Revolution, to the present day: The Oil Age. It is a great challenge to have a neutral conversation about oil and its global influences – Secunda presents us with a full-bodied series of works, free of judgments or opinions. The works in this exhibition are records of human invention and industry, which lay corner stones for the world we usually take for granted in the 21st Century.

Each image is silkscreened onto poured industrial floor paint. Secunda sometimes has to wait up to two years to obtain the correct oil with which to print, as the crude oils used are from the places portrayed in the work. These are highly impactful images that bestow upon us a sense of history that is both site-specific and global. They have a feeling of antique photographs. The subjects of this exhibition cover the invention of the internal combustion engine, the automobile and then powered flight. The romantic appeal of being earth bound and desperately wanting to be able to fly (hence the exhibitions title) or the excitement of being propelled on four wheels at increasing speed, are certainly not lost in the works. As the subject matter broadens, so does the human story and its associated drama.

Secunda has successfully managed to achieve a rewiring of the way we interpret crude oil, giving the viewer the ability to subvert stereotypical notions entirely. By converting this energy source into a printing medium Secunda has set up a highly intriguing dialogue. The unusual combination of geopolitics with such an unconventional artistic practice, manifests in works that are both surprisingly beautiful and deeply engaging.