The Dinas Rock Silca Mine was important during the industrial revolution in South Wales as heat resistant bricks made of silica were required to line furnaces for smelting copper and iron ore and the silica found here was exceptionally high quality. Adits were cut into the mountain on different levels with steep inclines linking the different levels and railway tracks carried trucks through the mine to transport the silica to the surface.
Exploring this mine is awesome. It begins with a large underground space, the roof being propped up by a series of rock pillars. It's built on an include and making our way downwards we reach the flooded section of the mine. The colours in the rock are beautiful; ochres. blues, oranges, reds and underwater - green, even though there is no light here for photosynthesis.
Climbing a steep incline and following the railway tracks is awkward; partly because of how steep it is and partly because of the amount of loose rock and gravel that now lies on that incline. We come to a wynch, rusted and broken but fascinating. It had at one time lifted trucks up and down this incline to remove the silica from the mine.
This was one of the first times I had used light painting techniques to photograph mines, in which a powerful torch is used to light areas of the image during a long exposure and are a part of my "Hollow Mountain" project.