Dillon Marsh visualises how much copper was produced in South African mines

Date
26 August 2014
Reading Time
1 minute read

South African photographer Dillon Marsh has long been drawn to themes that touch on environmentalism and our relationship with the world around us, and in recent years these interests have become more pronounced.

The Cape Town-based creative’s latest work goes even further in this exploratory direction. Dillon has taken photographs of five mines around the Namaqualand region and then added in a computer-generated visualisation of the amount of copper extracted there over its operational lifetime.

“Whether they are active or long dormant, mines speak of a combination of sacrifice and gain,” Dillon says. “Their features are crude, unsightly scars on the landscape – unlikely feats of hard labour and specialised engineering, constructed to extract value from the earth but also exacting a price.”

“The intention is to create a kind of visualisation of the merits and shortfalls of mining in South Africa, an industry that has shaped the history and economy of the country so radically.”

Dillon sees this set of photographs as the first in a series that will include other precious metals, gemstones and maybe even coal, raising social, cultural and economic questions about contemporary South Africa in a really engaging way.

Above

Dillon Marsh: For What It’s Worth (Blue Mine, Springbok (1852 to 1912) 3,535 tonnes of copper extracted)

Above

Dillon Marsh: For What It’s Worth (West O’okiep Mine, Okiep (1862 to the early 1970s) Over 500m deep, 284,000 tonnes of copper extracted)

Above

Dillon Marsh: For What It’s Worth (Tweefontein Mine, Concordia (1887 to 1904) Over 100m deep, 38,747.7 tonnes of copper extracted)

Above

Dillon Marsh: For What It’s Worth (Jubilee Mine, Concordia (1971 to 1973) Over 100m deep, 6,500 tonnes of copper extracted)

Above

Dillon Marsh: For What It’s Worth (Nababeep South Mine, Nababeep (1882 to 2000) Over 500m deep, 302,791.65 tonnes of copper extracted)

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About the Author

Rob Alderson

Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including itsnicethat.com, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.

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