This sequence of images was made at the site of the now closed Pooley Colliery in Warwickshire. They are part of a larger body of work that explores themes of growth, atrophy and change in relation to place.  Pooley was the first colliery to generate its own electricity and the first to have pit head baths. The pit shut in 1966 and it is now a 62-hectare site of which one third is now designated as a Site of Scientific Interest. The site is dominated by a large slag heap and the surrounding lakes are the result of subsidence from collapsed mine shafts.   I am the grandson of a miner and grew up here in the late 70’s and 80’s. I remember the water was stained green, black and copper and the earth was still warm from underground fires. I would cycle, fish, drink and smoke here. The area began to change in the 80’s as Birch trees started to colonise the site and wildlife returned. Birdwatchers, dog walkers, cyclists and joggers navigated the routes once used by miners.  I moved away in my teens and had not returned to the site until this year when I visited to make images as part of my post graduate studies.  I intended for the work to act as a window on the public significance of a post-industrial landscape reflecting environmental discourses. However, I could not escape the persistent bearing of place and history on identity and image making. The focus of the work transformed and grew into one that functions as a mirror to personal narrative and metaphor entwined with a public place.

Venue- Backlit