She's A Hero Going To Take Pollution Down To Zero

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By Charelle Evelyn on March 13 2013

It took moving away to Australia for Chelsea Miller to truly appreciate how connected she feels to her home in Prince George.

And even though she’s gone most of the year, she’s fighting on behalf of her northern home through her newfound voice of photography.

Miller’s Portraits of a Pipeline series is thousands of words condensed into a group of shots of Northern B.C. residents who would be affected by the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project running from the Alberta oilsands to Kitimat, B.C.
Her subjects, covered in black goop, are a stark contrast to the nearly idyllic wilderness setting around them.

The series was borne out of Miller’s studies at Griffith University, Queensland College of Art where she’s earning her bachelor of photography.

“You can’t just take pretty pictures… If they’re pretty, they have to be about something,” her instructors told her. “That was the first time I actually ever had anyone tell me these things and really introduced me to contemporary photography.”

It was while Miller was back home, taking a year off of school, that she got further involved with the anti-pipeline movement and wanted to add something to the discourse.
Early last summer she shot the majority of the pictures that debuted at the UNBC Rotunda Gallery last November - the same time the quasi-judicial Joint Review Panel hearings for the Northern Gateway project were in town.

“I just threw it up and I was amazed at how many people wanted to be involved,” she said. “It just reassured me that artists actually do make people think about things.”

Before they hit the gallery, the shots were on Miller’s
Facebook page and the response was huge.

Her photos can be seen at pinenutphotography.com.
Miller’s next thought-provoking set is an exhibition
of abstract photos at Nancy O’s, which began mid-
February, where she experimented with the effect of
household solutions (glue, drain cleaner, food colouring,
etc) on film containing pictures of organic materials.
Her struggle to turn an idea into art brought to light
something she was told at school: that artists are not
problem solvers, but problem finders.

“We find a new way of looking at a problem.”

CHARELLE EVELYN

REPORTER FOR THE PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN

Journalist, west coast native, music lover. Made in Canada.

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