Miners’ lamp: memory and the underground through a light installation on Bonsall Moor

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Jaramillo, George Steve (2016)

The historic lead mines of the southern Peak District embody the labour and efforts of miners gone, as well as, reflect the industrial past of the region. In my research, I have come to explore these underground places. In the darkness of the underground, light provides not only the ability to see, but also offers comfort. This paper focuses on the creation and execution of a temporary five-day light art installation, named Miners’ Lamp, on Bonsall Moor within the Peak District National Park. Inspired by my subterranean explorations and immersive research, the Miners’ Lamp engages the local community and encourages a reconsideration of the ‘hidden’ labour landscapes on the moor. The installation works with the ideas of darkness, light, memory, and the underground showcasing the practice of geography and art in a rural setting and speaking to the politics of preservation through a different aesthetic.
  • References (9)

    8 R. Sorensen, 'We see in the dark', Nous, XXXVIII (2004), pp. 456-80. See also O. Dunnett, 'Contested landscapes: the moral geographies of light pollution in Britain', cultural geographies, (2014), pp.1-18.

    9 Minkowski (1993) cited in C. Bishop, Installation Art: A Critical History (London, Tate Publishing, 2005) p. 82.

    10 R. Williams, Notes on the Underground, (Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, 1990), p.8.

    11 Williams, Underground, pp. 54-56.

    13 S.G. Cant, 'The Tug of Danger with the Magnetism of Mystery': Descents into the Comprehensive, Poetic-Sensuous Appeal of Caves, Tourist Studies, III (2003), p. 68.

    14 P. Nora, 'Between Memory and History: Les Lieux De Mémoire', Representations, XXVI (1989), pp. 7-24.

    15 K. Stewart, A Space on the Side of the Road: Cultural Poetics in an 'Other' America, (Princeton, Princeton University Press , 1996) p. 75.

    17 J. Nancy, The Ground of the Image, (New York City, Fordham University Press, 2005) pp. 51-62. See also Vergunst, J., 'Seeing Ruins: Imagined and Visible Landscapes in North-East Scotland', in M. Janowski & T. Ingold (eds), Imagining landscapes : past, present and future, (Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, 2012), pp. 19-37.

    18 J. Barnatt & R. Penny, The Lead Legacy, Appendix C, p. 86. Based on Rieuwerts, J. H. The Whitelow Mines, Bonsall Moor. (Bakewell: PDNPA Cultural Heritage Team archive, 1993) - Unpublished report for English Heritage.

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