For hundreds of years, quarries have played a vital role in the economy and history of the area around Buxton in Derbyshire. Now, they are the central focus for a high-profile exhibition at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.
Limescape: The Shrouded Aesthetic is the work of Derbyshire-based photographer Steve Gresty who gained a Masters Degree in Photography from Derby University in 2017. Thanks to gaining Arts Council funding, Steve has been able to exhibit his current work through a series of exhibitions.
The exhibition features 19 large colour photographic prints of quarries including Tarmac’s quarries at Tunstead.
“For a long time now I have been intrigued by the quarries within the local area. With this exhibition, I felt it was important to view them from a different art perspective and use this to show the surreal landscape and fascinating activities that occur within a working site, such as Tunstead.
“Tarmac gave me an extraordinary amount of help and access to their site. This presented me with the opportunity to investigate every nook and cranny of the quarries and even allowed me to photograph one of the routine blasts. Tarmac’s valued support enabled me to capture some very strong images that feature within this exhibition.”
Graham Cooper, Tarmac’s Tunstead lime general manager, who went along to the opening of the exhibition, added: “We see our quarries as functional, providing important raw materials for the many vital products we produce for everyday life. So, it was fascinating to see the quarries in a different light, through the eyes of Steve, who is clearly a very talented photographer. We were pleased to be able to help him with his study of local quarries and it was a real pleasure to be able to see the finished results.”
Alongside the 19 main images, the exhibition features 12 polaroid photographs which show a range of products that are manufactured using limestone from the quarries – these include animal feeds and breakfast cereals.
The exhibition runs until November 16 at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery. In the new year part of the show moves to West Studios in Chesterfield from January 10, for three weeks before moving to the Peak District Mining Museum in Matlock Bath from April 4 to May 9, 2020.