Daniel Shea‘s “Coal Work,” a long-term investigation of the coal industry in the Appalachian region, grew out of a simple curiosity about where electricity came from. He first photographed mountaintop removal and modern coal mining in West Virginia as an undergraduate student in 2007, and later photographed in Southeast Ohio, an area dense with coal-fired power plants. In addition to receiving recognition for the work in the form of exhibitions and press, Shea developed an interest in “exploring post-industrial ruin and entropic states,” which he says “will drive my practice for many years to come.”
Currently completing a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Shea has also built an editorial career that helps him support his art practice.
Shea works in other media, and has begun combining photography, sculpture and collage in his projects. While photographing post-industrial sites in Illinois, for instance, Shea has picked up materials to use in sculptural works.