Chris Donovan The Cloud Factory

May 14–Jun 18,  2022

Against a backdrop of billowing clouds of smoke, the environmental class system of Saint John, New Brunswick comes into hazy focus in Chris Donovan’s The Cloud Factory.

A long-term photographic project, The Cloud Factory stems from Donovan’s frustrations over the lack of critical reporting around the fossil fuel industry in a city that is home to Canada’s largest oil refinery. With his poignant images, the artist calls attention to the issues generated by the industrialization of his hometown, revealing the families affected by industrial contamination and the socio-economic structures of a monopolized economy.

Shot in heavily polluted areas, this series of photographs uncovers the environmental injustices perpetrated by media conglomerates and owners of the refinery, the Irving family. Donovan’s images cut through the veil of smoke to expose a culture of censorship that has allowed the oil industry to control the environmental narrative and tighten its grip on the community for decades.

Sponsored by the Student Production Award – In memory of George Fleischmann.