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Landscape and Ruins – reclaiming the ‘badlands’

How has mining impacted the land we live on? ‘Landscape and Ruins’ looks at the abandoned remains of buildings, structures, and landscapes transformed by mining through a contemplative, artistic eye.

From artists Graham Warren and Duncan Rice, this exhibition is a part of the ‘Ruins and Monuments’, project. The project, a series of exhibitions that have been running for over 10 years, initially focused on the abandoned remains of buildings and structures. Over time, the scope of the project has expanded to include the landscapes transformed by mining.

“As a landscaper I have become intrigued by what happens when nature returns to the abandoned mine buildings and landscapes – finding ways to reclaim sometimes heavily polluted ‘badlands.’ Added to this is the strange power of ruins and the unplanned beauty that can result as the plants move in.” – Duncan Rice

The exhibition’s message is expressed through various mediums, including pin-hole photography. Using photographic equipment not far removed from technology used at the height of mining in the 1800s has created imagery suited to the stark qualities of the mining ruins.

“Selected negatives from the processed black & white films were hand printed on Silver Based Multigrade Art Paper. Some of the resulting images have an almost ghostly quality which particularly suits the abandoned engine houses and mine workings. These sites are special places, once the heart of industry they now seem to have an evocative echo from the past and a magnificent grandeur in their decay.” – Graham Warren

Alongside the photography is a series of drawings and paintings that combine observation and memory. The drawings in this exhibition combine pencil, charcoal, gouache paint, and pastel on board. The paintings use a combination of water-based inks over acrylic underpainting on Daler water colour board.

Visit the Landscapes and Ruin exhibition this autumn, 12 September – 9 December

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