Carol Boram-Hays

Artist Statement

Many of us think that we live in a post-industrial age, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Though the large factories and the brown fields that they create may be rapidly disappearing from the visible landscape in Europe and America,  industrialization and the complex human and environmental issues which accompany it are still very much with us. The factories that were once the economic life-blood for many in American and Europe were also sites of industrial accidents and the source of pollution that left many individuals and communities harmed for lifetimes - even generations. And now with many of these factories closed, the communities they supported are withering and impoverished. Still, we rely more than ever on industrially produced goods. Now industrial production has moved beyond the eyes of many of the people who consume goods made this way, yet industrialization continues to exact the same environmental and human costs on the communities in which they are located. Moreover, as the cycle of consumption and obsolescence has become increasingly rapid, the cast-offs from this disposable lifestyle is leaving our natural and human resources abused, our environment polluted and degraded, and our lives increasing divorced from the natural and real.


Exploring our conflicted relationship with industrialized culture I want my work to be like a puddle of antifreeze - simultaneously compelling and toxic. I use metal remains reclaimed from industrial sites cast them within concrete poured into forms, and then use mason stains to color their surfaces. The colors are intended to evoke the layers of wear that have accumulated in these places and natural changes that are happening to these now abandoned spaces, while the uncanny forms are intended to suggest the way these places are reanimating. I also work on installations and sculptures made with materials such as steel ductwork, conduit and electrical wiring, that are associated with more contemporary architecture, in order to explore the future legacy of our current lifestyle and its effects on the environment. It is my way of making peace with the post-industrial legacy that I have inherited and trying to reveal the hidden environmental costs that continue to be part of our lifestyle.