2019 - 2020
Copperopolis explores the everlasting damage caused by the Swansea Copper industry. The work considers the historical, contemporary and future impact of the site. Copperopolis brings the hidden pollutants which taint the skin of the landscape where the works once stood, raising them to the surface. Buried in the ground two meters below the landscape of the copper works lie arsenic, cadmium, lead and cyanide, invisible toxins which have permeated and shaped the essence of this place. At its peak Swansea Copper industry was largest producer of smelt copper in the world, following this end of this era the site was abandoned with little apparent care as to its legacy on the natural environment.
“On a clear day, the smoke of the Swansea Valley may be seen at a distance of forty to fifty miles, and sometimes appear like a dense thunder cloud.” (Barr, J. 1970)