Brittany Marcoux is a photographer and visual artist from Massachusetts. In 2016 she received her MFA in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has exhibited at the Danforth Art Museum in Framingham MA, AS220 in Providence RI, §üb∫amsøn, Aviary Gallery, and Nave Gallery in Boston MA. Recently, she was awarded the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship for Photography, The Blanche E. Colman Award, and the INFOCUS Sidney Zuber Photography Award Honorable Mention. Marcoux is also an adjunct photography professor at RISD and Roger Williams University.
In 2009, two cooling towers were built at Brayton Point Power Plant in Somerset, Massachusetts, a 600 million dollar project to prevent heated water from entering Mount Hope Bay. Growing up in a neighboring town, I became intrigued–like many in their shadows–with how they had altered our neighborhoods, our ballparks, kitchen windows, every shoreline, front-lawn, and sunset. An industrial Gargantua and Pantagruel, these 500 foot towers dominated the landscape, infuriating some, amazing others, but indelibly making their mark on our consciousness. I became fascinated by these blinking gray towers and how they, simultaneously, pulled the landscape together, while pushing it apart. From Fall River, MA to Providence, RI and beyond, the towers were visible, and their dominance upon this small coastal landscape is understood in symbolic terms: a stolid, industrial totem of big business, our ongoing separation from nature, and the precarious balancing act between our societal needs and the environmental consequence.
Over the years, I photographed these towers from multiple vantage points, different neighborhoods, documenting their exchange with the landscape and the people that occupied it. Brayton Point, which was one of the largest coal-fired power plants in Massachusetts, ceased operation and shuttered its doors in 2017. Two years later, on April 25th at 8am, the two cooling towers were razed. Within 8 seconds, these gigantic, concrete fixtures were all but a cloud of dust.
To view more of Brittany Marcoux’s work please visit her website.