Original Artwork by Sylvie Adams
• 2013
• 91 cm x 61 cm – 36″ x 24″
• Acrylic. India ink on canvas •

- This artwork is available at Artêria Gallery

The power of nature and self-destruction. This painting was inspired by the the nuclear power plant disaster at Fukushima, following the tsunami of March 2011. It was named "Radioactive" because, to me, it represented churning waters with a core of hot energy and the reference was easily made to that terrible disaster. Images of the ravages of the tsunami left me awestruck and provoked many reflections about the power of destruction of nature. Other natural disasters, tsunamis, fires, earthquakes, showed the ease of nature in destroying human constructions, infrastructure and habitations, even those we thought were "danger-proof".

This lead to a questioning of precautions taken by humans in the face of the power of nature. I suppose it's my architectural background resurfacing, but it did seem that even if engineers, architects and government regulatory bodies strive to have the most solid and sound structures possible, trying to foresee every possibility, there is always the one that could not be foreseen. There is also the question of costs versus probability, which is always part of the equation.

Finished in May of this year, I was not aware that this painting would be in a way foretelling the future as news of leaking radioactive water to the sea would make headlines in August and now in September. Some have attributed the leaks to faulty welding of the tanks holding the contaminated water. Headlines of other disasters, often implicating industries that have a responsibility in adhesion to regulations or that are self-regulating, for examples the tragedy at Lac Mégantic, the abandoned PCB depot in Montreal and the numerous scandals of self-regulated industries shows that humans are fallible and some can be downright greedy. And it becomes clearer in my mind that the concept of a self-regulating industry, without a regulating independent body with frequent inspections and explicit sanctions, will fall victim to opportunistic behavior of some of its members and that the societal costs will only grow as more weaknesses are exposed.

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