The Weight of Stone (2014) is a body of work about the former mining town of Kopparberg in Sweden. Kopparberg used to be a sprawling mining town from the 17th century until the mid-1950s. The last mine closed in the ’60s amid an already failing economy and high unemployment, which is still the situation today. The mine waste is scattered around the area in large heaps and acts as a constant remainder of better days. It is considered historically significant and therefore cannot be altered in any way. The paradox is that it’s also acidic and therefore leaking heavy metals into the surrounding environment, causing long-term damage by entering the ecosystem.
I found it thought provoking how the mines and the mine waste has affected the town and the landscape on so many different levels throughout its history. The images are shot in the town while the sulphidic stones seen in them are actual mine waste collected in the town and surrounding area.
Part of The Learned Pig’s Clean Unclean editorial season, March-May 2015.