The alchemical properties of oil, and the gloaming of the combustion engine are symbols for our age of consumption in Robbie Thomson’s multimedia installation End of Engines, An Lanntair’s COP26 flagship exhibition, opening in the main gallery, Friday 3 December at 5pm.
“This project has been in the pipeline since the start of the pandemic and I’m interested to see how the audience responds to the installation, especially during this time when there is such a heighted focus on the environment and the conversation is so urgent.” said Robbie Thomson.
Commissioned by Cryptic in partnership with Cove Park, End of Engines links the deep history of the planet to our contemporary environmental condition and draws on cosmological themes to illustrate the ability of oil to transcend and entangle time.
The work meditates on the creative and destructive forces of technology, the allure of the synthetic and the nihilism of industrial exploitation. Although sometimes ominous in tone, the void-like quality of the installation suggests radical re-imaginings of alternative futures and relationships between humans and the earth.
Inspired by the aesthetics of petroleum architecture, mythology, astronomy and car customisation, this installation features a collection of robotic sound and light sculptures. Using liquids, reflection and rotation, the sculptures create intricate interplays of light and motion that animate the walls of the gallery.
An Lanntair is delighted to host End of Engines in response to COP26 as part of Làn Thìde, the Outer Hebrides Climate Beacon; a collective and network of arts, heritage, community, environmental and third sector organisations, located in the Outer Hebrides and established to create a programme of public engagement focused on climate change and developed with community collaboration at its core. To find out more, please visit Làn Thìde’s website at www.lanthide.org