elise campbell
The Grassy Place
841 x 594 mm
Limited Edition 1 of 4 (Variable Grey on White and Grey on Dark Grey)

The world’s only cryolite mine, was situated at Ivittuut, southwest Greenland. It was active from 1854-1987.

The Greenlandic name ‘Ivittuut’ translates into English as ‘The Grassy Place’. This area of Greenland was considered by its inhabitants to be verdant in comparison to the rest of the land. Most of the literature that Campbell sourced regarding the mining of cryolite at Ivittuut and the mineral itself, was written in Danish. This presented a problem for the artist. To understand more about cryolite and the trading of this mineral, Campbell translated many Danish texts using a free online language translation service. The results were hit-or-miss, with a lot of the translations leading to arbitrary sentences and random phrases. The Grassy Place is a text piece composed of selected extracts from these translations. The evocative text reflects on the themes of unknown languages and faraway lands, and its fragmented structure and order, conjures another layer of mystery to this intriguing mineral and mysterious trade that existed in Peterhead.

Photo credit: Alastair MacRobert
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