Overburden: Rotowaro Door de Jaren Heen

Cook, David (2011) Overburden: Rotowaro Door de Jaren Heen. [Contribution to a Show/Exhibition]

[img]
Preview
PDF (NZ Ambassadorto European Union -opening for Overburden exhibition) - Presentation
342Kb
[img]
Preview
Image (JPEG) (Overburden exhibition- Coalface Gallery, Genk, Belgium) - Other
2905Kb
[img]
Preview
Image (JPEG) (Overburden exhibition- Coalface Gallery, Genk, Belgium)
3502Kb
[img]
Preview
Image (JPEG) (Overburden exhibition- Coalface Gallery, Genk, Belgium)
3587Kb
[img]
Preview
Image (JPEG) (Overburden exhibition- Coalface Gallery, Genk, Belgium)
3695Kb
[img]
Preview
Image (JPEG) (Overburden exhibition- Coalface Gallery, Genk, Belgium)
3129Kb
[img]
Preview
Image (JPEG) (Overburden exhibition- Coalface Gallery, Genk, Belgium)
2644Kb
[img]
Preview
Image (JPEG) (Overburden exhibition- Coalface Gallery, Genk, Belgium)
3316Kb
[img] PDF (Invitation to exhibit ) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Registered users only

45Kb

Abstract or Summary

Background Since 1984 I have been documenting Rotowaro, the site of New Zealand’s largest earth-moving operation. As the Rotowaro opencast coal mining operation has expanded I’ve witnessed the removal of a village, the realignment of roads and streams, and the extraction of millions of tonnes of coal. The ongoing documentary project has looked at the social, environmental and economic impact of mining in this region. The documentary project pivots around the forced removal of Rotowaro township. In the late 1980s 400 mine workers and their families were relocated by the state mining company to make way for a new opencast mine. I have documented the township site before during and after the erasure of the settlement. The mine currently supplies coal to New Zealand’s largest thermal power station, blending it with imported Malaysian coal and New Zealand gas to produce 12.5% of the nation’s national electricity supply. My methodology is largely photographic, and I also make oral histories and collect artefacts (family photo albums, documents, objects). The project has resulted in an archive of images and artefacts at the Waikato Museum (Hamilton, NZ), several exhibitions and two books. Lake of Coal: the disappearance of a mining township was published in 2006 and was named as a finalist in the NZ Book Awards in 2007 (see PDF version). The documentary project began as a commission from the Waikato Museum, and is now supported as a research project through the School of Media Arts at Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology) in Hamilton, New Zealand. Exhibition The objective of Overburden is to create space for the audience to reflect on the social and environmental impact of coal mining. The exhibition has two main parts: 1. The first part is an extended series of images and edited archival home video from the former mining township; depicting people engaged in community activities and work in the 1980s, prior to and during the removal of the township. These images include a multivocal mixture of my own b&w reportage, video, photographs from family albums and children’s drawings. This piece is screened through a data projector. 2. The second part is a series of photographic prints that represent the current landscape of the township site (images made in 2011). These images show the industry’s attempt to erase memory of mining activity and the township that supported the mine. Images depict the backfilling of the opencast pit and contouring activities as the land is ‘rehabilitated’ to pasture. This series are interspersed with photographs of computer generated 3D images of the proposed new landscape, used by mining engineers. The failure to completely erase this memory is seen in a series of landscapes depicting the abandoned Carbonisation Factory. This coal processing factory is the only remaining relic of the former township. It is a contested space; on the one hand protected as a nationally important historic site, and on the other hand contained as a contaminated waste site. This is a new exhibition proposal. This is the first showing of this body of work. Exhibition components a) 120 images and video fragments – 10 minute looped sequence, projected on gallery wall. b) 18 unframed prints (800mm x 600mm ) pinned to the long walls at either side of the gallery. Showing 2011 landscapes and 3D computer graphic representations. c) Information– text panel with background historical information, bio details and map.

Item Type:Contribution to a Show/Exhibition
Keywords that describe the item:Photography, Documentary media, Coal, Energy development, Contested space
Subjects:N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
T Technology > TR Photography
Divisions:Schools > School of Media Arts
ID Code:1673
Deposited By:
Deposited On:25 Jan 2012 03:03
Last Modified:14 Jun 2012 22:45

Repository Staff Only: item control page