elise campbell
November 2013
Cryolite and Giesecke
Four audio recordings with transcripts.

The Grassy Place
841 x 594 mm

Work and research related to the historical trading of a rare mineral called cryolite by Scottish ships in the mid-late 19th century was presented at EQUILIBRIUM. Cryolite existed in a solitary site in SW Greenland, Ivittuut (Kalaallisut: “Grassy Place”), and was mined there from 1854 until its depletion in 1987.

In Cryolite and Giesecke, four audio recordings created for EQUILIBRIUM, the artist weaves an intricate narrative, tying together disparate threads of research, from her discovery of the mineral in Arbuthnot Museum, Peterhead, through to the story of a German mineralogist, Sir Charles Lewis Giesecke, who exactly 200 years ago this year, stepped off a ship at Leith Docks, having been marooned in Greenland for over seven years.

The fourth audio recording was a reading by the artist of an extract from one of Giesecke's essays 'On Cryolite' which was written for the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal: Volume 6, in 1822.

The Grassy Place was originally created for the Beyond Here Lies North exhibition in Peterhead, northeast Scotland, 2012, but was selected to be exhibited at EQUILIBRIUM when the artist discovered new connections between cryolite, Leith and Edinburgh.
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