DescriptionRedundant stonecrushing plant buildings at Silvermines, County Tipperary. The site will one day be beautified for the tourists with only the oldest buildings preserved, but for now these relatively modern, strangely magnificentand very largeruins stand rusting in the breeze.Brief history: Silvermines is the name of the village beneath the Silvermines Mountains. Silver was worked from very early times but from the 18th century the main products were lead and zinc ores. Most of the metals were worked out by the late 20th century, and this plant was installed to crush barytes gangue (waste) from the spoiltips. The whole place has been redundant since the early 90s and mostly left to rust with very little attempt at cleaning up by the outgoing owners, hence the many public meetings over dead cattle, soil poisoning and toxic dust blowoff from the many spoil tips in summer. 11 million or so has been earmarked to clean up the area, an expensive site survey and consultation has been performed, yet the rubbish, rusting buildings, the drum dump with thousands of rusting leaking barrels containing God knows what and the open shafts still remain. Despoliation on a scale that makes the odd dumped and burnt out car seem trivial by comparison. But paradise for photographers. Few things work together as well as iron oxide and blue sky.
Steve Ford Elliott, Mountshannon, Co Clare Member Since May 2007 Artist Statement I'm 44, married with 4 children, and live and work in the west of Ireland. While I'm surrounded by the bustling Celtic Tiger economy, I prefer to photograph the simpler things, nature macros and landscapes, as well as the forgotten, decaying remnants from an earlier time.
Current equipment is a Canon EOS 30D (8Mpx) with several lenses. Older pictures that only show up as the two smallest sizes were taken with an EOS D30 (3 Mpx). They're equal in quality to the newer ones, just smaller!