Artist’s statement


Much of contemporary landscape photography is about perfect images of pristine natural land devoid of human activity. There is often denial of the effects of human habitation and how it has shaped the country.

Concentrating on an idealised view creates problems between what people expect to see when they visit the countryside and what is before their eyes. This is particularly true in national parks which, by their very nature, are promoted as the epitome of the perfect landscape.

This exhibition show the quarries and works associated with mineral extraction in North Derbyshire. Industry on this scale has a huge visual impact which many do not like when they expect to see perfect landscape. It is a strange irony that quarrying in the Peak District is inevitable as the rock that formed the hills is used to build the infrastructure of modern life. For every new house, road, railway or shopping centre there is a corresponding hole in the
ground. *

By producing large colour photographs I want to engage people and suggest links between the source of raw materials used in the construction industry and the landscape that provides them. Quarries can have their own stark beauty, they are part of an inhabited, working landscape.

© Colin Shaw, 2016

* Derived from a quote from Burtynsky, E. 2008, Residual landscapes: an interview with Edward Burtynsky. In Space and Culture vol.11 no. 1, February 2008, 39-50. The online version of this article can be found at:   Accessed 10 December 2014