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Beatrice: Transition Under Petrocapitalism

18 June to 30 September 2023

Timespan opens its new group exhibition Beatrice: Transition Under Petrocapitalism featuring the works of Tanja Engelberts, Oliver Ressler, and Sue Jane Taylor.

The exhibition draws its title from the oil field Beatrice, located less than 20 miles off the coast of Helmsdale, recently decommissioned and converted in 2018 into Scotland’s largest operational offshore wind farm. With the addition of wind turbines, Beatrice is a mutable emotional architecture that can embody the challenges related to energy transition, including the crucial question of whether an economy deeply rooted in petro-capitalism can effectively shift towards renewables.

Through documentation, diaries, research works, moving images, drawings and paintings, the artists involved investigate the ecological, social, and economic implications of the change of the oil industry.

The exhibition includes a section dedicated to the institutional history of Timespan, examining how BritOil played a fundamental role in Timespan’s foundation in 1976. This section sheds light on the industry’s control over the narrative surrounding fossil fuels through support for culture.

Tanja Engelberts born (1987) Deventer, NL lives and works in The Hague (NL).In 2021, she completed her two-year residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. For the past years she has worked on several projects related to the fossil fuel industry and in particular how energy production shapes our landscape.  


Oliver Ressler produces installations, projects in public space, and films on economics, democracy, climate breakdown, forms of resistance and social alternatives. He participated in the biennials in Taipei (2008), Lyon (2009), Gyumri (2012), Venice (2013), Athens (2013, 2015), Quebec (2014), Jeju (2017), Kyiv (2017), Gothenburg (2019), and at Documenta 14, Kassel, 2017


Sue Jane Taylor studied fine art at Gray’s School of Art, Slade School of Fine Art, London, and Konst Academie, Stockholm and she is an Honorary Fellow of UHI (University of the Highlands and Islands). In her work, she raises questions about the relationship between art, the environment and industry. She recently completed a residency at Port of Nigg, Eastern Highlands of Scotland. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented by Brown’s Gallery Tain/Inverness, Scotland.

Beatrice: Transition Under Petrocapitalism is the first exhibition part of Timespan’s larger programme of research Coastal Commons: Beyond North Sea Extractivism which explores ways of reimagining our relationship with natural resources and energy production, engaging with the impacts of the climate crisis at a global and local level focusing on Highlands coastal communities.