Jane Brettle


2013 - 2020

View 3.40 minute sequence from the start of Mine Cornwall. Full work 20min 30sec | Fullscreen HD availble (click play and then icon above ^ )


This two-part work revisits earlier preoccupations with my relationship to our inherited environment - exploring two post-industrial landscapes that for centuries - and until fairly recently defined the work place and way of life for most local families.

For some time I have been walking a specific former tin mining area of South West Cornwall and a similar coal mining area in South East Scotland. Walking in all weathers as the miners would have done I have photographed the landscape throughout the year while initially meeting with local people and investigating mining museums, photographic, libraries, bookshops and online archives for information about the sites and for records of the people who made their living through mining.

The project has developed in relation to place, time and land, framing the visual while researching both historic and current land management schemes - which continue to exploit resources for profit - and latterly the development of the mines as tourist and recreation locations and heritage sites where man made 'landscaping' and a return to 'nature' now define these environments.

Both sites have been worked with varying levels of excavation for generations - they flourished at a similar time and were abandoned with equal antagonism and bitterness. Communities of men, women and children operated the mines, and at the height of production experienced similar working lives.

Sound was a significant element of life on these sites. I am currently collaborating with musician Robin Mason to develop a soundtrack which unites these landscapes; considering the way in which sound/music in relation to image and text effect meaning. This work is being supported by The Fusion Fund, The Hope Scott Trust and St Andrews University. The final work will consist of two approximately 20 minute time-based pieces that view these once ravaged - but currently compelling landscapes - with reference to their history and their future through animated photographic image, text and sound.