by Lucy Gunning

a collection of rocks in what looks like an old kitchen


  • 1Quarry installed at Spike Island, Bristol, UK

Video still from Quarry


Two videos: One of a quarry explosion, the great outdoors legitimised by industry; the other, no less spectacular, an insight into the private interior world of a rock collector, animated by an extraordinary depth of knowledge.

Lucy Gunning came to Bristol with a general idea - a geological fascination for rocks and crystals. Gradually she uncovered the obsessions of both the scientific specialist and the hobbyist; the culture of the ‘rock and gem' show, and the site of special interest known only to a few. From the daily blasting of working quarries to the lonely deserted landscape of old tin mines that have cracked and soaked up the vast areas of earth. Ochres, reds and pinks leaving the land as though it were in pain.

The resulting works reminds us again and again of the imposition that we place on this earth, the greedy extraction of resource that never stops. This is balanced by the vast knowledge of a single specialist with his considered and precious collection of crystals arranged in confined domesticity.

Quarry was originally commissioned by Spike Island as a result of three month Moving Image Residency, which was co-organised by Picture This and Spike Island in the Summer of 2003.









Year 2003
Original format
Screening format
Aspect ratio
Audio Yes
Colour / B&W Colour
Screens 2

Screening history:

20 Sept – 26 Oct 2003
Spike Island, Bristol, UK

Related Items:

Lucy Gunning

Lucy Gunning produced Quarry as a result of three month Moving Image Residency, which was co-organised by Picture This and Spike Island, Bristol.

Writing Residency talk
22 September, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Glasgow based writer and academic Dominic Paterson has been developing a new text exploring Lucy Gunning's film Quarry (2003).


Dominic Paterson spent the Summer of 2010 as our writer in residence. Here, in his essay, he looks into our archive at Quarry (2003) by Lucy Gunning.