When I saw the proposed route, I was curious to better imagine the coal trains’ impact on the small communities they would barrel through. And, as it sometimes does, my imagination got away from me.

In 2013 and 2014 I traveled to nearly 50 towns spaced more or less evenly along the coal export route. In each of these towns I photographed public spaces, whether central or neglected. I chose 26 towns to invent monuments for, and researched the history of industrialism in the areas, spanning from European settlement to the present day.

I printed the 26 chosen subjects on archival rag paper and painted my imaginary monuments on top. I then rephotographed the paintings, pasted hokey slogans on some, and am re-printing them as an edition of postcards. The back of each card will have an ‘official’ caption about the monument and a reproduction of my handwritten text connecting the site to the coal export issue, and sharing my thoughts about the journey.

Subscribers will receive each of the 26 cards over 2015, one card approximately every two weeks.


This project is supported by a Project Grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council!