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Art Editorial

silvercoins.jpg Silver Coins: Context, Process and Concept

Over the past six years, Joseph Wilson has photographed the changing coastline of Lynemouth, Northumberland.

The landscape has responded to industrial processes and natural forces in interesting ways and he has recorded this. Some of Lynemouth’s industries, such as the coal colliery, the landfill sites, and, more recently, the aluminium smelter, have been decommissioned. The coal power station has undergone a controversial conversion into a biomass power station, with the recent addition of some large structures.

During the 1970’s and 1980’s, the coal supplies of the nearby industries were so plenty that they would regularly fall into the sea, only to be redistributed across the Lynemouth coastline on days where certain rough- weather and tidal conditions permitted it. This led to an unofficial sea-coaling community and workforce taking advantage of the beached resource. Photographer Chris Killip lived amongst this coastal community, photographing daily happenings between 1982-1984. Killip’s photographs were taken just before much of the de-industrialisation of the area, and indeed, of Britain as a whole.

The photographs that Wilson has been creating are interesting in different ways. They chronicle a kind of after de-industrialisation, or delayed de-industrialisation. The large buildings making up the local topography are altered or erased. The artifacts of material culture that were buried within the landscape during the decades of shifting industrial habits are resurfaced through the forces of tide and time. The re-birth of these objects into the 21st century renders them misplaced, lost in time.

Silver Coins sits between long-form ‘documentary’ of landscape and ambiguity. The photos individually document the the landscape over time, but are not logically sequenced and are starved of contextual information. The viewer has the freedom to use their imagination and be creative with what they intuit from the body of work.

You can find the majority of the photos on www.josephwilsonphoto.com/silver-coins#1

Image © Joseph Wilson