Book Review: ‘Industrial Scars’ The Beautiful Toxic Scars of the Earth

Book Review: 'Industrial Scars' The Beautiful Toxic Scars of the Earth

What happens when humans burn too much waste and destroy the planet? Modern Art.

Photographs of the aftermath of environmental devastation aren’t normally considered art. However photographer J Henry Fair has reimagined the decaying and suffering environmental landscape in the aftermath of human abuse in his mesmerising book entitled Industrial Scars.

Fair wanted to poignantly and powerfully draw attention to the devastation wrought on the earth as an indirect result of the rampant consumerism of society and our ever increasing need for more stuff. Industrial Scars reveals birds eye views onto oil drilling, hydro-fracking, open cut mines and coal-ash waste. It reveals writ large the end-game of agricultural production and abandoned mining operations.

The result is photography that is paradoxically beautiful and yet devastating when we view it. Toxic scars in the earth from this angle could be seen as luminously beautiful abstract modern art. The bird’s eye perspective on the scorched and torched earth provide a unique glimpse into the shapes, colours and aesthetics of the ruined landscape. Fair’s photography is meant to be consumed here not mindlessly, but mindfully of the true and harsh reality of the hidden industrialised world.

The overall message is clear – Fair is dedicated to umasking the hidden costs of our choices on our planet.

Read more and buy the book – a great gift

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