The documentary, Sweet Crude, is the story of the oil corruption in the Niger Delta. Over fifty years of oil extraction has left an everlasting impression by decimating the once rich environment. Rust, resulting from the acid rain, is a stark example of the environmental damage.
As art director of the film, I was drawn to the works of Northwest maritime artist, Melinda Hannigan, otherwise known as "The Rust Queen". Melinda's paintings focus on the close-up markings of working ships. These ships travel the world, and each port they visit, each dock they touch, each tug that works them, leaves it's mark.
The ominous presence of the working ships, the oil tankers, have left their mark as they moved through the Niger Delta. Melinda's markings and mastery of rust conveyed this theme well as chapter headings throughout the film.