A Beautiful Art for Climate Change

In her latest exhibit, Halifax artist Lisa Cochrane uses decommissioned fire hose and “a palette of fire” to make art about climate change, fire and formal beauty.

“So many of us are thinking about how the climate is changing and extreme weather systems,” says Cochrane, whose large “paintings” of stripes of coloured fire hose recall the Colour Field painting of the 1940s and ’50s, but also suggest calamity.

Her initial inspiration came from the material itself as she accumulated more than 914 metres of decommissioned fire hose.

“For me, the hoses still have energy contained within them: the memory of the firefighters who once brandished them to fight wildfires, the water that rushed through their interior skins, the dirt and soot ground into the canvas skin from contact with toil and earth.”

“It’s purely intuitive. It satisfies me on a level of colour and spatial rhythm.”

A multi-disciplinary artist who has exhibited found-object assemblage and sculpture in Halifax and Montreal, she has never worked in colour before.

For this show, she bought buckets of red house paint, mixing it with greens and whites to get different shades of red as she painted the hose. “It’s been fantastic.”

“My pieces are very formal and simple, employing line and changing colours,” she says. Make art about climate change, fire, formal beauty | The Chronicle Herald