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Clean Coal and Futile Prospective

The Convoy (oil on canvas)

I made this painting in response to propositions of a conglomeration of coal mines to be implemented in the Galilee Basin, Queensland Australia. On April 17, 2019 a convoy led by Green Party leader Bob Brown departed from Hobart Tasmania to Queensland's Galilee Basin to protest the production of the Adani Coal Mine. As an artist passionate about preserving the environment I feel obliged to create visual depictions of these current issues. Essentially it is the job of an artist to document the age they are experiencing. In a visual world bombarded by screens, I find painting to be a particularly relevant way to express my frustrations and concerns regarding the struggle we experience between necessity and convenience, short-term resolutions to deceitful habits that spiral in even further disconnection with the natural environment around us. The questions I find myself asking more a more...

What is necessary?

Is it necessary for these coal mines to be implanted?

Do we have alternative sources of energy that are clean? (yes)

Are we willing to ignorantly destroy even more ecosystems that have evolved along side us purely for the sake of human convenience and habit?

*Most importantly-

Am I willing to adjust my lifestyle to adhere to the preservation and sustainability of the planet, protect the natural environments and ecosystems we share it with, and strive to maintain a planet habitable for future generations?

G'damn right I am...

Pen and ink thumb-nail sketches for "The Convoy"

In these sketches I experimented with the relationship between contrasting line. I delegated the softer rounded edges to that of organic form, leaving the hard, straight, mechanical edges for the machinery and industrial structures of the coal mine. The Blue, representing hope, is engulfed in hard edges, deadlocked at an intersection of antagonistic lines. Only when the Blues connect will we find the conclusion to the implementation of future coal mines...

Proposed Coal Mine

The Carmichael Coal mine is a proposed thermal mine to be constructed in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland. It will be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest coal mines in the world. The project is led by Adani Mining (a subsidiary of India's Adani group who have a record of not following environmental laws) and plans over a 60 year period to mine over 2.3 billion tons of coal with a majority of it being exported back to India. Australians are deeply worried about the effects the mine could have on Queensland's wetlands and the Great Barrier Reef due to the digging up of seabeds to make room for ships transporting coal. Farmers are also worried because Adani's been given permission to use a limitless amount of water in an area that suffers from drought.


Coal is a combustable sedimentary rock formed by the decomposition of plants from hundreds of millions of years ago. Over time the organic material is buried deep underground undergoing extreme amounts of pressure compression forming strata called coal seams. The coal which is mainly composed of carbon along with variable elements, hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen can then be burned to produce energy. Coal is considered a non-renewable energy source due to the millions of years it takes to form. Coal, a fossil fuel along with oil and gas releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere increasing levels of CO2 in our atmosphere and intern contributing to global warming.

Clean Coal

Clean coal is the term labeled to a process of trying to capture carbon emissions before they are released into the atmosphere. It works by filtering the coal-fired exhaust through a liquid solvent that absorbs the CO2. The solvent, now rich with CO2 is then heated to release the gas where it is then compressed and sent away for storage underground. This process is extremely expensive, and risky.

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