We have a new exhibition at
my Museum right now called Creation and Erasure: Art of the Bingham Canyon
Mine. I was in charge of the community programming for this exhibition
including the interactive space within the exhibit. Which means that I have
spent the last six months embroiled in all things copper mine. The exhibition
itself is really beautiful. From early documentary photographs to current
critical art, the inspiration of this mine for artists (including big-time
artists like Ansel Adams and Robert Smithson) is amazing. And I had a lot of fun making the interactives - you can explore the art, history and science of the mine, or even draw your own landscape.
Bingham Canyon Mine is the
largest open pit copper mine in the world. It is located in the Oquirrh
Mountains by Salt Lake City, Utah and can be seen from anywhere is the valley.
And even from space (well everything can be seen from space now) but it is said
that if you were to take a trip to Mars, the last man-made thing you would see
with your naked eye would be the Bingham Canyon Mine. Now called Kennecott
Copper Mine, the mine has been in existence for over 150 years. It produces
300,000 tons of copper per year, providing 13% of the US copper needs and 33%
of the valley’s pollution.
Although it is an eyesore
(it basically destroyed a mountain) and it does pollute quite a lot, I am aware
that copper is a necessity in today’s world. I wouldn’t be blogging without
copper in my computer and cell phone. And I wouldn’t be able to create without
it. A year or so ago, I created a cuff knit with copper wire inspired by the
town of Lark that was destroyed when the mine became too large.
With my mind in all things
copper over the last few months, I have been dreaming of making something with
copper again. But, I want to experiment more with leafing. If you remember the
Silver Queen Handkerchief that I silver leafed and submitted to an exhibition.
In that piece I was looking for a very flakey, loose leafing for an effect. But
I have been thinking that if I use a different glue, I might be able to get a
better leafing that can be worn.
I will begin some
experimentation and see what happens. But, if you are in Salt Lake City this
summer, it is worth a trip to come see the exhibition.