I am currently working on a new project titled Gone Mining which connects to my Cornish heritage and mining. The project aims to create a new body of photographic work that seeks to go beyond popular Cornish mining stories to use the familiar to explore the complexity of personal, social, environmental and political issues that are connected to mining.
The project seeks to explore the 'familiar' through a set of found objects that I discovered in 2011 when my father who was a miner died of lung cancer. During the months leading up to his death, he had carefully curated a picture of his life and career in the form of a family photo album and a folder that contains ephemeral mining material.
The family album is a largely unexplored personal, social and historical phenomena which are rapidly disappearing in this digital age. Its exploration during the project provides scope to enable us to use it to help us bridge the gap between memory and reality to unveil truths about ourselves, where we belong and the human experience. To disrupt the ritual harmony of its design and sequencing to help us seek new meaning through photography.
The work will take us on a mining journey that spans three continents connecting stories with communities overseas providing an opportunity to reflect on the impact of mining globally. It connects to mining for diamonds, gold, nickel and tin across the world over three decades leading us up to the present day.
The work is not a biographical account but focuses more broadly on the theme of legacy and how this connects to issues relating to working-class communities, capitalism, colonialism, the environment and health.
This is an independent project supported by Arts Council England.