Chris Drury, who will be speaking in Ayr in the Autumn, has successfully stirred up a storm in Wyoming, as reported in the Guardian. He was commissioned by the University to create a work for the campus as part of its evolving public art exhibition organised by the University of Wyoming Art Museum.
The work entitled Carbon Sink: What Goes Around, Comes Around is made from lodgepole pine and coal, and brings with it the pine beetles. They are all connected in a cycle that is becoming more vicious.
But what’s particularly interesting is that this work has drawn the anger of the coal mining companies and put the University in an awkward position. Higher Education funding comes into sharp relief when the corporates and the politicians start saying how sad and shocked they are that the University would commission a work that questions the environmental credentials of the coal industry.
The classic line is from a politician, quoted in the Guardian,
“”While I would never tinker with the University of Wyoming budget – I’m a great supporter of the University of Wyoming – every now and then, you have to use these opportunities to educate some of the folks at the University of Wyoming about where their paychecks come from,” Tom Lubnau, one of the state legislators, told the Gillette News-Record.”
Chris Drury isn’t the only artist drawing attention to these issues, but he seems to have hit a nerve.