Overburden: Stripping away the Mountains and their People, 2015


Shawn Skabelund

Site-specific, Place-based Installation, Berea College, Berea, KY

Materials: Overburden dust from mountaintop removal mine, prepared crow specimen, photograph by Ami Vitale of the mountaintop removal mine, Cherry Creek Mtn., Lindytown, WV

13’ W x 30’ D x 10’H


As a species who shares this planet with other creatures, we have the choice to either recreate or destroy. The marks we make on the landscape become pictographs, historical earthworks of good or ruin. Our fauna and flora brothers and sisters are sentient beings, each with individual spirits. We are interdependent. Each day the great sun rises and moves across the Earth, its largeness passing through the land and through our bodies, as a quiet example of how to give and sustain life.