DAYS OF PLENTY (2011-13)

Days of Plenty explores the tensions between growth and destruction in humanity’s relationship with the land. In a series of documentary photographs, the impacts of coal mining on rural towns and environments are portrayed within rosy visions of wealth and beauty. The conflict is visible in the landscape: forsaken homes stand in contrast to vast, shimmering, mounds of rocky overburden, enduring symbols of our collective desire for prosperity from the earth.

Mining development involves a constant negotiation between opportunity and sacrifice for individuals and communities. Workers’ soulless living conditions in transient camps are a necessary outcome of engaging in regions far from Australia’s cities. In small, rural communities thedestruction of place and memory is required to expand mines and bring prosperity to the regions.

This work seeks to raise questions about the idea of Progress, and the assumption that economic development automatically improves the human condition. Is Progress a myth benefitting the few? Do we underestimate the extent of humankind’s destructiveness and irrationality? Can we reconcile the dark side of exploiting mineral wealth, with the aspiration and desire to build and grow?

Exhibition History 

Complete series:
Queensland Centre for Photography, October 2013
Selected images:
Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Prize,
Gold Coast City Art Gallery, 2014
Storyology Slide Night, Brisbane Powerhouse, 2014

Using Format