China Clay Industry

China clay currently represents the largest mining industry in Cornwall, although year on year, the scale of mining has been systematically reduced. These are a selection of images which depict the industrial workings of the industry. The area is dusted white, and on the days I photographed it was dry and arid unlike elsewhere in Cornwall which mostly feels both damp and wet. Since the sea surrounds three sides of Cornwall, water invades from everywhere.

In this space, the scale of industry surprises  as much as it overwhelms. But it also shares a quietness as if it were sleeping or ending. There is no machine noise, there is none of the deafening sounds of industrial activity. China clay production feels as though it forgets to be there, as though it is absent from itself. I was most struck by how it feels so unlike industry. There is nothing industrious about its nature.