Mining History in “The Weight of Stone” by Emma Wieslander

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In “The Weight of Stone,” Swedish artist Emma Wieslander explores the mining history of Kopparberg, Sweden, by juxtaposing black and white photography with lurid yellow and orange rocks. The vintage pictures depict the landscape and architecture of Kopparberg at the height of its wealth. From the 1600s until the mid-1950s, the locality was known for its copper mines, and the economy flourished. After WWII, however, business declined, and, by the 1960s, the last mine was closed, and unemployment grew. The local economy has yet to return to its former glory. Yet, the harsh work and effects of mining make the past era hard to miss. The industry damaged the ecosystem in ways that are still visible today. One remaining trace of the mines is the sulphidic rock that litters the landscape. Wieslander collected pieces of stone and placed them over top of historic images, seemingly wedging them between buildings and into lakes. Captured on film in chromogenic color prints, the found objects contrast with the colorless background and cast a symbolic shadow over the scene.



Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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