Melbourne-based artist Fintan Magee was one of the many artists invited to take part of this year’s Nuart Festival for which he painted what probably is one of the tallest murals painted in this city so far; a 32 meter high double silos in the middle of one of Stavanger’s most gentrified neighbourhoods.
Titled ‘Monument to a Disappearing Monument’, the mural depicts the portrait of what appears to be an oil worker. Stavanger is known for its rich oil driven economy, that in recent years has started to weaken.
On one hand we have the figure on the left, a meticulously depicted portrait painted against a background showing a modern and prosperous city. The figure on the right on the other hand seems to vanish and become part of the background, and so does the landscape behind him. The future isn’t clear anymore. The pavement at their feet has been destroyed. There is no longer a stable ground to stand on. Here Fintan integrates an earlier piece by Norwegian artist Dolk painted during for Nuart 2015. Fintan explains the piece as folllows:
“In the beginning of 2016 global oil prices dropped to their lowest in decades. The slump has been driven by and a lack of demand attributed to the rise of the fracking industry, more Fuel efficient vehicles, a lack of investment in exploration and a number of other factors.
Norway, one of Europe’s biggest oil producers has been hit hard by the price slump and in the oil city of Stavanger, house prices are falling, unemployment is rising and restaurants are closing. Some now predict that Norway could lose close to 200,000 oil jobs by 2020.
This mural painted on two silos in a soon to be demolished industrial district depicts an oil worker standing at the edge of the city, the reflected image on the right is created using a Rorschach technique and the paint appears to be is breaking to pieces and disappearing. The work directly addresses the issue of Job loses in Western Norway while further commenting how our global economy, changing markets, the collapse of Western industry, privatisation and technological advancement has left working class people and their families increasingly marginalised, isolated and left behind.” – Fintan Magee