Victoria Roberts shares the creative process behind her black and white photographs, Industrial Quarry.
For a module within my second year at University of Lincoln, I created work that had the brief of Frequency Festivals theme ‘Disruption = Cultural Reinvention’. Here I produced 3 black and white images of a quarry. Before I had decided what type of images I would be taking, I got put into a group sphere of environmental. Meaning that the images I created would be around how the theme effects the environment. With this in mind I struggled with creating ideas, as I wanted to steer away from the obvious images that could have been taken.
What I noticed on frequent train journeys from Lincoln to the east coast, was that the train travelled directly besides a quarry, that we overlook and are unbothered by how these companies are extracting materials. The quarry seemed to stand out from all the fields surrounding, and it made me realise that these industries are disrupting our landscapes. I decided to investigate Singleton Birch to see if they were giving back to the environment and see if they are doing anything to change the old into something new. Unknown to the general public, Singleton Birch is one of many quarries that are giving back to the environment and local area due to their redevelopment of using old quarry sites to produce crops, sheep grazing until the site is needed for agriculture.
With the three images I produced, I decided to show the magnitude of the industrial side to the quarry.
First image taken was a landscape taken a couple of miles away from the quarry, showing how destructive the quarry is to our landscapes but also environment. Although the images don’t show the destruction to our environment directly, we are able to see in the landscape the pollution from the factory and within the two other images we can see the ash of the limestone. By not showing the pit, viewers are able to see where all the retracted lime is taken to be cut down ready for distribution. The reason why I chose my final images to be in monochrome, as the image originally had a dominant colour of green. Due to the Quarry warehouse being white, I found that in order for the warehouses to become the focal point of the image that having it in black and white would remove the distracting green and enhance the disruption of the landscape.
Also I believe that having the images in black and white enhances the detailing of the building structure, while adding more depth to the picture. With the images being in black and white I find that the buildings are given the attention needed to showcase how powerful these buildings and the disruption to our environment is.
Victoria Roberts, 2019
Visit Industrial Quarry by Victoria Roberts.