The Super Pit


A huge trough cleaved from the inside moving outwards and deeper spreads itself.

Located in Kalgoorlie, WA, the Super Pit is Australia’s largest open-cut goldmine. Over the years, thousands of tourists have been drawn to the pit to watch operators guide rock-swallowing machines which grind slowly through layers of earth, deepening the gorge to 400 metres. Meanwhile, within walking distance, a township looks on.

While Kalgoorlie has survived the ups and downs of the mining industry, other towns have struggled. Nearby, ghost towns display plaques explaining locations of now non-existent buildings that once stood tall and proud, seemingly permanent. Businesses have moved on, taking all reusable material with them, while the bodies of recently obsolete machinery remain sinking into the red dust. An abandoned mine chasm dips below the landscape. There are warning signs.

Is obsoletism a symptom of the decline of the industrial age? Do these recently collapsed ghost towns represent Australia’s current trajectory regarding resource management? Exhaustion and relocation: this is colonisation.


Brodie Ellis, with credit due to Jeremy Jones (Botanist)

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[in alphabetical order]

Amalgamated Arts
City of Yarra
Conical Gallery
Horton Books