Harriet Sams
Creuse, France 23210

Story Info

Story & Experience

My daughter and I went to a local dump of many tonnes of unwanted road surface chippings. It had been gathered up after a recent resurfacing project when it had been put onto the road surface and then found to be extra to the process of embedding a driving surface. The remains that had been gathered here six months ago had not yet been removed and were beginning to show signs of being colonised by plants.

This was a really good place to experience the extraction practices of sand and rock for the building and infrastructure industries. Globally, extraction of sands and rock is one of the most depleting of all industries and easy-to-access, useable sand and rock is fast running out. All around us are active quarries, as well as historic quarries. The material that has been extracted from these sites around the world is now contained within the buildings and roads of the cities of the world.

We talked about how much of the planet is being taken out of where it lies, to be put to a human use. Some of it went in my daughter’s shoes when she climbed the hill. It made her irritated! I recognised that feeling.

Why this Place?

Creuse, France 23210

We chose this location, as recently our road had been loose-chipped to build a driving surface, but there were many, many tonnes of disused chippings. Much of it was collected up and dumped near our house, we thought to be used again, but it hasn’t yet. The rest of the loose chippings that weren’t embedded and stayed loose on the road were swept to the side of the roads, for the grasses to grow through. 

Act of Beauty

Say more about your actions and activity

As my daughter started scraping the chippings, we saw how dark the chippings beneath the surface were so we thought to draw the bird with sticks. It felt really fun to draw, making a bird appear out of the forgotten chippings, ready to take flight. 

The bird wanted to fly away with the flag in its beak. 


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