Having grown up in a mining community before working as a miner during 2006, Guy returned this year (2012) to spend several months researching and documenting an open cast mine in Ashington, Northumberland. Working, Void presented a new two-channel video installation exloring an industry that continues to tread water, one constantly caught up in romantic propaganda, political misinformation and continual geopolitical conflicts. The work challenges preconceptions of mining and miners, surveying the imposed mindset of monotony, elements of social geologies and lineage.
Excerpt from film text:
There are new horizons coming into our view, layers of new strata now visible for us to explore. Yet the view cannot be seen in a conventional sense and I am intrigued, as we look to address our own historical contexts, we discover a new and prevoiusly un charted topography, not linear but rough, uneven, crowded depressions and bulges, amounting to a universal, uniform and empty space.
Cutting benches from strata to build a natural ampeitheater, what resembles an inverted purgetory. Our understanding of the term ‘miner’ is far removed from the original term. Designed mechanisms to shift men, earth and water as well as the recovery of reserves. We have come to hold the opinion that the mining industries are tortuous and that the occupation was one of toil, and altogether a kind of business requiring not so much skill as labour.
These men are artisans, though few are masters of the whole craft and most are specialists. Their understanding of Philosophy, Astronomy, Architecture, Surveying, Draftsmanship or mathematics, is not spoken in the same language as you or I, but we must begin the measurement of their craftsmenship, all to have a better understanding of the origin, cause and nature of subterranean things.
This is where recovery of reserves (general direction) begins.