Oil Fountain

Oil Fountain is a giant fountain sculpture which flows with engine oil instead of water, intended to highlight how contemporary society is reliant on oil and the need to move away from this dependency. It is designed to stimulate debate and discussion about the topic and the need for action.

Creating an interesting tension, the artwork is both very beautiful and slightly disconcerting. With the smell it omits and the sound of the oil falling into mirror-like pools, the artwork looks extraordinary in different lights and settings. Surrounding architecture and visitors reflect in the mirrored surface of the oil.

The sculpture has been created from used engine oil and recycled acrylic, with details of plants and animals made extinct as a consequence of the industrial revolution and humanity’s impact on nature, laser-cut into the surface.

Traditionally, towns and cities have been built around the presence of clean water. Water fountains were a source of safe drinking water and a meeting place for the community. Over time, they have become symbols of life, health, and also used to communicate prosperity and power.

Contemporary society is now built around the use of oil. Oil in the form of petrol and diesel is the main source of fuel for transport. People wear oil in the form of polyester and nylon fabrics in our clothing, and we even wrap our food in oil, in the form of plastic.

Just as water fountains are meeting places within a town, Oil Fountain will become a place for organisations and individuals fighting climate change to meet and discuss their work. The artist is seeking individuals to come forward and visit his artwork in Bristol before it is revealed to the public, where they will be interviewed about their views on camera, with films broadcast over the coming months.

Luke said: “We all need to do what we can to reduce our dependency on oil, help fight climate change and steer society towards a net zero future. With a climate crisis underway, I hope this artwork will act as a focal point for conversations and help stimulate debate about this vital issue.”

Individuals and organisations with an interest in fighting climate change who want to visit Oil Fountain to be interviewed about their response to the sculpture should contact Luke at studio@lukejerram.com.

All materials for the Oil Fountain artwork will be recycled again at the end of the project.

Designed to Tour
The Oil Fountain is designed to tour and can be taken from city to city.  It will be suitable for presentation at museums, city festivals, science museums, and art galleries.

With thanks
Thanks to Slicker Recycling for supplying the recycled oil we need for this artwork. At the end of the project the oil will be returned to them to be recycled and reused.

With thanks to designer PChanningDesign for his work on this arts project.

Press Coverage
BBC News
The Telegraph.
BBC Radio Bristol
Western Daily Press
LBC Radio.
Bristol 247