Beautiful Destruction: Using Art to Grapple with the Alberta Tar/Oil Sands

Louis Helbig, author of the book Beautiful Destruction, will be speaking in the BRAES Classroom Speaker Series on October 1st, 2015, 11:30-12:30, room TBA.
Louis Helbig brings an eclectic background to his work. He competed internationally on Canada’s national cross country ski team, flew bush planes in rural BC, holds an MSc from the London School of Economics, and has worked as a cabinet minister’s advisor, an economist, and a university lecturer. He left Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs in 2006 to become a full-time artist.
Louis Helbig’s work is published in periodicals around the world. His art work is held in collections in Europe, North America and Asia.

Beautiful Destruction is published by Rocky Mountain Books. His book, with its stunning imagery of the industrial development in the forests of Northern Alberta and its unprecedented inclusion of 16 essays by prominent individuals with very different ideas, is helping to change how Canadians and the world view, understand and discuss the oil/tar sands. In Canada it is helping defuse a highly polarized, divisive issue and create space for substantive, meaningful discussion of the oil/tar sands. Internationally, it is raising awareness of a massive, largely unknown industrial project in the Canadian wilderness at the centre of one of the dilemmas of our time: grappling with the realities and contradictions of climate change versus a petroleum driven global economy.