It is hard to imagine anything less obviously poetic than the machineries of mining or the scarred landscapes left over when mineral wealth has been extracted from the earth. But since the 1990s artist Jeannette Unite has been developing a highly personalised subject matter out of the public face of mining operations, recycling detritus leftover from industrial sites as pigments ground into her drawings and paintings. In the body of work: TERRA and COMPLICIT GEOGRAPHIES Jeannette Unite throws light on human activity on land measured, regulated, mapped and divided.
She brings together, along with her vast collection of images relating to industrial landscapes, her deep interest in mining and its impact on the land, and her great pleasure in colour and materials. In this mix she engages both in a study of archive, in the evocation of landscape as metonymy and in a kind of monumentalism that is reminiscent of Earth artists who at once drew attention to the bleak limits of human habitation and the human effects of exploitation of land that, today, presents itself as an environmental crisis.