London Paint Club

Karsten Schubert – Onya McCausland

17 September - 14 October 2021
Onya McCausland, Six Bells 51°43 33.56 N 3°07 58.63 W / No. 2, 2021, Pigment in oil on canvas, 45 x 40 cm | 17 3/4 x 15 3/4 in, © The Artist, Courtesy of Karsten Schubert

Throughout her career McCausland has worked almost exclusively in monochrome, pursuing an understanding of mark-making that rejects a dependency on colour, specifically its associations within the realm of formal abstraction. Her practice seeks to capture the essence of her materials, allowing her to draw and paint with a sense of weightlessness both in terms of legacy and physicality.

In 2014 McCausland embarked on a project working with the Coal Authority to collect and recycle the natural ochres present in the waste water that flushes through defunct mines, a material that would otherwise be sent to landfill. The ripple effects of this research have been far-reaching, positively impacting local communities, who are now involved in the manufacturing of the waste minerals into oil colours and an emulsion paint that is the very first of its kind. For McCausland, the launch of these rich, chromatic paints is but one of many creative outcomes of her wide-ranging, investigative practice. Perhaps the most pertinent, while minimal in its intervention, is the Six Bells mine site in Wales being recognised as a work of land art by the Coal Authority in 2020. This change of status, and the reclaiming of this land as a public resource, is a remarkable achievement at a time when we are being urged to rethink our attitudes towards environmental sustainability.

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