Present Ghosts: River Valley
In this graphic series, artist Nina Elder reinterprets archival photographs of the River Valley to look past its industrial development.
The drawings are based on archival photographs of the River Valley’s early development. Although historical cycles of construction, extraction, abandonment, and decay have defined the River Valley landscape, these legacies are often camouflaged or concealed. My process included stenciling and erasing as a way to reflect on the disruptions and environmental erasures that have happened in this area.
I used industrial pulp mill waste for these drawings. The pulp mill waste is a raw carbon powder that is a byproduct of industrial paper factories. Many of the mills and factories incinerate their waste and pulverize it into fine enough powder that it is not regulated by any environmental standards. Although it is remarkably black and messy, it is incredibly light. The powder is dispersed in piles that are meant to be carried away by the wind or wash away with rain.
Each drawing is 8″ x 10″.
Materials: Industrial pulp mill waste on incised paper.