Emily Richardson


Oil rigs lit up brightly at night

3 screen version: 7 minutes 50 sec
Single screen version: 21 minutes
Prod/Dir: Emily Richardson
Camera: Emily Richardson
Sound Composer: Benedict Drew
Distributed by LUX Distribution.

Petrolia takes its name from a redundant oil drilling platform sat in the Cromarty Firth, Scotland. The film looks at the architecture of the oil industry along the Scottish coastline where oil and gas supplies are predicted to run dry in the next forty years.

Shooting on 16mm film, using time lapse and long exposure techniques, the film presents a record of industrial phenomena, – the toxic beauty of the refinery at Grangemouth, huge drilling platforms gliding across the water as they come in for maintenance and repair at Nigg and the last dance of the shipbuilding cranes in Glasgow harbour.

Benedict Drew has created the soundtrack for the film using purely electronic, computer generated sound that works with the threshold between silence and noise as the image works with that between the visible and invisible.

A catalogue of the 6000 miles in which Petrolia appears is available to purchase. For more information, see the 6000 miles page in the Publications section.

You can also download an essay by Will Stone:

See also the Figuring Landscapes exhibition information from Artsway and the British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection.