I have spent most of my artistic life focusing on the North Sea. I was born and brought up in the Black Isle in the North East of Scotland. Whilst growing up there in the 1970s, the oil boom hit the Highlands of Scotland. It became part of contemporary Highland Culture.
- Sue Jane Taylor

Bird woman, University of Aberdeen Research Station, Cromarty, 2007, colour conté, 820mm x 580mm © Sue Jane Taylor. Photographer: Fin Macrae

Eddie Campbell, Weldex Cranes, Inverness, 2012, colour conté, 820mm x 580mm © Sue Jane Taylor. Photographer: Fin Macrae

The Age of Oil exhibition focuses on my North Sea artworks from the last decade. Visually these offshore installations are brutal, not bonnie, built for pure function, crude oil and gas production, and more recently renewable power generation. Located in ever changing remote natural environments, over the years they have taken on their own individual social atmosphere created by people who have personalised their offshore work spaces. They have brought these places to life by their banter and stories, adding richness to contemporary North Sea seafaring folklore.

The diaries I kept offshore are crucial to the understanding of my work. Excerpts are paired with the images on display in the Age of Oil exhibition and within the following pages. Thanks to all those on and offshore who have given me their time and facilitated access during these projects.

Header image: Sue Jane Taylor sketching aboard Piper B platform, 2004 © Robert Pogson

All words within these pages are from the artist © Sue Jane Taylor. 

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