Landscape / Nature | Nominee

Wolfgang Fröhling


Shifting landscapes


The once familiar black heaps of coal and coke that characterised the skylines of the Ruhr Region have almost vanished from the scene today. Only mountains of lifeless stone remain as a legacy of the collieries. These last economically exploited symbols of an industrial landscape follow a line between Emscher and the Rhine-Herne canal. Fascinated by the magical presence of the colliery heaps, I captured images of these relics from an almost forgotten age – the coal and coke heaps of the German coal mining industry. Within this short period of time, the appearance of these almost deserted and desolate lunar landscapes changed almost from day to day . Machines create new heaps, while elsewhere, old heaps are cleared once again. Between this process of tipping and clearing, nature begins to reconquer the terrain.