detail of a painting with a jumble of wires around an electricity pole

hubbert's peak

painting, installation, digital collage


Hubbert's Peak is a project based on energy use and consumption with emphasis on the use of oil as a source of energy and as the main material in most plastics. The study began through an interest in the feed-in tariffs for renewable energy self-sufficiency. This led to a residency in Vermont in April 2012, the US's first state to enact a feed-in law.‚Äč

The title is a play on 'Hubbert Peak Theory', defined on Wikipedia as 'for any given geographical area, from an individual oil-producing region to the planet as a whole, the rate of petroleum production tends to follow a bell-shaped curve. It is one of the primary theories on peak oil.'

Thinking about non-renewable energy, the work became about plastic, our ideas of plastic as a sustainable or non-sustainable medium, and what might happen to it should petroleum resources run out. I attempted to love plastic despite myself, to value the medium and not what it has done or what it represents. I hoped to see what we could lose if we lose access to it by using up crude oil in potentially less valuable activities.

This project was part-funded by funded by The Arts Council of Ireland Travel and Training Award, and works were made on residency at Vermont Studio Center, Vermont, USA.


things I read or saw that helped create this project


colleagues who worked on this project with me

financial support

people or organisations who helped fund the work