Subterranean (and above)

“Above us there are strip lights. They make the mine dim, not light.

The ground is rough, uneven and dust coloured. As are the walls. As is the ceiling.
Perhaps I expected roads made out of concrete, fake ceilings, a factory underground.
What I see is more primitive
yet we are on a truck driving through the mine, in the ground under the North Sea and so
We are far from primitive
yet we are so close to the Earth that perhaps , and yes,
we are primitive.”

Excerpt from 2. The Picture in your head’, Joanna Brown 2012


In May 2012, I was one of 7 other artists invited by Rednile Projects to travel 1100 metres down and then 6 miles out underneath the North Sea to the workface of Boulby Potash Mine in Cleveland. Due to its depth, the mine is also home the UK’s Dark Matter Research Laboratory.

No photographic or electronic equipment could be taken into the mine so memory, a set of laboratory overalls, some potash samples and a few jotted notes was all that was captured during the intensive experience.

Industrial and artistic physical processes have been at the core of the creation of the work. Photography, digital imaging, grid drawings, photograms and darkroom printing have been used to create fictitious primitive alien landscapes denoting above and below the ground of the mine.

Using Format