An artist’s view from the rigs exhibition

One of the stunning 'Age of Oil' exhibits on display by artist Sue Jane Taylor
One of the stunning 'Age of Oil' exhibits on display by artist Sue Jane Taylor

A new exhibition depicting the changes in the oil industry in the last ten years will go on display at the University of Aberdeen’s Sir Duncan Rice Library this week.

Artist Sue Jane Taylor has documented the male-dominated world of oil and gas for three decades, working in some of the most remote and challenging industrial environments in Scotland.

Her paintings, drawings, prints and film pieces bring a personal and poignant response to a unique period in history – the Age of Oil.

The ‘Age of Oil’ exhibition opens this month and will run until July. It has been developed in association with the National Museums Scotland, where it was first displayed in 2017, and documents the changes in the North Sea that have taken place over the past 10 years. The show focuses on Aberdeen Harbour, the Murchison and Brent Fields and, latterly, the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm project in the Moray Firth.

The exhibition also includes a selection of objects unique to this period of modern maritime history.

A sample of the first oil from Murchison Field, dated 30th September 1980, and a drilling mat - one of the last objects to be removed during the decommissioning process in 2017 - have been loaned from Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums Collections. A “teacup-carrying device” made from spare materials by technicians on the Brent Delta platform has been loaned by Shell UK Limited and the Survitec Group, has provided a Helicopter Passenger Survival Suit.

Sue Jane said: “We are still living in the Age of Oil, yet the general public know so little about offshore. We are still dependant on it for 98% of everything we do in our daily lives.

“It is not just about hard economics; there are so many rich social and visual diversities to this industry, which is inspirational to me as an artist.”

The exhibition runs until July 8, and will feature talks, workshops and events.