Gillian McConnell #P27 Carbon Cycle


By Gillian McConnell

Salt Spring Island, BC

Dimensions 57.75 × 38 in

Acrylic, matboard and paint rags on canvas



In stock


Carbon, the foundation of life, is stored in the atmosphere, oceans, rocks, plants, soil, and fossil fuels. It flows between these reservoirs in an exchange—the carbon cycle—which maintains the earth at a stable temperature.

Humans perturb this cycle by burning fossil fuels, clearing land, and disturbing ecosystems. A compositional instability perturbed the painting process of “Carbon Cycle” before it resolved in an equilibrium of gases, rings, and carbon chains.

From the “Carbon Compounds” series, this work continues my exploration of carbon credits—the right to pollute, packaged as a corporate commodity, traded on the global market, promoted as progress.



Gillian McConnell attained a BFA Hons (major—Etching / minor—Art History) from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario (1980). An award-winning multimedia artist, she creates paradoxical works that challenge cultural, political, and personal dichotomies using visual metaphor and the juxtaposition of disparate images. She is an experienced graphic, textile, and rug designer, art teacher, and curator.

Gillian co-founded the OXOgraphy conceptual art collective in 2009. She has staged many successful exhibitions, including the critically successful OXOgraphy in 2012. Gillian won 1st prize in “The Underlying Spirit: An Homage to Emily Carr,” (Victoria 2011). Her work is held in collections in Canada and Australia.