Curator, writer and editor Ben Tufnell writes 'Land and Colour: On Onya McCausland's Six Bells Work'.
The first thing to say about Onya McCausland’s new paintings is that they are made from what industrial or post-industrial society deems to be waste material. And not only ‘waste’ but also a pollutant: they are made with raw and burnt ochre extracted from mine water at the now closed Six Bells coal mine in Abertillery, South Wales. It is impossible to discuss these paintings, or even to look at them, without considering the implications of this. Indeed, we might say that this materiality
is their raison d’être.