Orphan Well Adoption Agency

Artist: Alana Bartol

Medium: photos, letters, website

Orphan Well Adoption Agency is dedicated to finding caretakers for abandoned oil and gas wells through symbolic adoptions. As the number of orphaned, inactive, and abandoned oil and gas well sites in Alberta and elsewhere increases, how do we remedy what is left behind? These sites threaten to contaminate land, water, and life, with remediation and reclamation efforts lasting years.


This work grapples with the complexities of imagining a world without extractivism. How do we build relationships with damaged lands? What does remediation look like in the future? What tools are needed for a just transition away from fossil fuels?


Visit the Orphan Well Adoption Agency here.  

About the artist:

Alana Bartol comes from a long line of water witches. Through collaborative and individual works, she creates relationships between the personal sphere and the landscape particular to this time of ecological crisis. Of English, Irish, French, Scottish, German, and Danish ancestry, Bartol is a white settler Canadian currently living in Treaty 7 territory in Mohkínstsis (Calgary).

More of Alana’s work is available on her website.