Over the last 3 years I have been photographing the limestone quarries and works in Derbsyhire. Much of this is within a few miles of my house centred around the town of Buxton.
I started the project as a reaction to contemporary landscape photography which is usually 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 countryside.
Living in what is reputed to be the second most visited national park in the world there are obvious conflicts between industry and ‘the view’. That creates problems between what people expect to see when they visit the countryside and what is actually before their eyes especially as national parks are promoted as the epitome of the 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 the audience 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.
Buxton Museum and Art gallery are exhibiting the photographs from 6 February to 12 April 2016. There will be a programme to support the exhibition including talks and other public engagement events. I want to show the exhibition at other places around the region and am currently exploring suitable venues. A book of the project is also planned.
I have just launched a Kickstarter project to raise funds for the final stage of the project – the exhibition. Please help if you can there are some good rewards.