This three-year research project investigates how waste materials such as mine spoil, slag, garbage, and soil have been used to create new landscapes across the UK since the Industrial Revolution and examines how these places are used and valued today. Understanding this (re)use of waste as a creative process, the project studies land-reclamation, dumping, and the creation of artificial hills using a mixed methodology (including survey, archival research, visual analysis, and ethnography using interviews, participatory drawing/mapping, and photography). The project will reveal both the physical traces of waste-led landscape modification and examine how people engage with these ‘artificial’ places in the Anthropocene.
The research is funded by a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship and the University of Edinburgh. It is hosted by the School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art (University of Edinburgh) and runs from October 2020 until 2023.