Next up in our Artist Profile series is Johanna Warwick, one of the Mass Cultural Council’s Photography Fellowship awardees who will be showing her work at the upcoming exhibition at the The New Art Center in Newton, MA.
My photographic work for the past 2 years has been centered on the changing landscape of the Danby Marble Quarry in Dorset Mountain, Vermont. The Danby Quarry has been in use since the 18th century, it is over a mile long, has a footprint of twenty-five acres and is 1½ mile deep. It is the largest underground marble quarry in the world.
I began photographing the marble curious about its use but eventually became charmed by the physical history carved into the space. The heavy unyielding material takes a geometric form inside a huge organic landscape. I am fascinated by the constant metamorphosis of the space. Etched, carved and broken apart Danby Mountain is a record of time. The physical markings inside the mountain created by the both the original method and the current method of quarrying is at the center of my interest due to its impact on the nature of the mountain.
From the beginning of quarrying there to today the technology has vastly changed and is visible inside the walls of the quarry. In the shallowest depths the quarry reveals the chaos of past axe quarrying in the ceiling, showing every stroke each man took while the more recently excavated spaces reveal the control of diamond rope cutting into precise geometric cubes. Each method has left an indelible impression on the mountain by destroying its natural state and creating a geometric and ordered new landscape. These are the qualities that I find both interesting and intriguing. I am fascinated by it’s now formal beauty.
My photographs of Dorset Mountain undulate between buried underground, immersed in darkness to being elevated into the sky and mountains, overcome by light. The sense of where you are is confused by ever changing planes of focus. The ground and ceiling, up and down, become indistinguishable. I photograph little to indicate scale, rather creating a world where a mountain can be a pebble, a crevice can be a valley and a stone can be a grave. Through photographic examination I hope to reveal the captivating landscape of this place while evoking a sense of its history and question how it will continue to change in the future.
Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellows and Finalist Photography Exhibition
February 28- March 23, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, February 28, 6-8:30 pm
Artist Talk: Tuesday, March 4, 11am
New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville, MA 02460. Gallery hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm; Saturday 1 – 5pm. The exhibition is free, open to the public and accessible to all.