the rig

4K video on view at  Mareel Feature Space
Shetland Arts, Lerwick, Scotland, May 1–June 30, 2023

The Rig, 2023, 5:37 minutes, 4K video (web version 1080p), courtesy the artist
Veselka visited Shetland in May 2022 and became interested in the decommissioning of the Ninian Northern offshore platform at Dales Voe and the tremendous amount of marine life that had grown on the rig during its forty years of operation. In decommissioning process, this life had been killed, and the site was a graveyard. But the fact of life on these structures was also a symbol of hope. Visually, petrochemical infrastructure is often used as a symbol of climate change and environmental disaster. But the ecosystem living on the rig before it was decommissioned became a different type of symbol—one that represents life’s resilience. 

Thinking about the opposing themes of energy, environmental destruction, and resilience, Veselka created this 3D animated video to experimentally represent what would happen to a rig if it outlived its petrochemical purpose and was allowed to remain in the sea as a sanctuary for living creatures.

This video was exhibited in a solo exhibition at Shetland Arts in Lerwick, Scotland.

To hear more about the artist's experience in Shetland, please listen to her interview with Chris Bonfiglioli on the Coastal Knowledge Podcast of the Young Academy of Scotland:

More information on the project: X-CHANGE: Artist Residency & Exchange | Shetland Arts