Quarry was made at the occasion of the Belgian Matters exhibition curated by Siegrid Demyttenaere (DAMN° magazine) that took place at Palazzo Litta during the Milan design week 2016.
This selection of photographs taken over a few months period represents an excerpt of the research material that as served the development of a collection of objects produced in close collaboration with Pierre Bleue Belge. Quarry, through these photographs, humbly aims at being a honest portrait of the intense energy witnessed on the Pierre Bleue Belge domain.
Quarry is a photographic project that depicts the activity taking place at the Pierre Bleue Belge site in the Hainaut province of Belgium. Established around three quarries, Pierre Bleue Belge is yearly extracting about 50.000m3 of blue limestone formed 350 million years ago where was then an ocean. With a multi-centennial history that started in 1668, Pierre Bleue Belge is a gigantic family enterprise, not necessarily because of its number of employees or because of its long lasting existence, but mostly due to its scale. Considering that a single cubic meter of blue limestone weighs almost three tons, everything at Pierre Bleue Belge consequently has to be big. From the quarry itself and the blocs of stone extracted to the vehicles and tooling used, all facilities there are oversized.
Even though the activity of Pierre Bleue Belge revolves around stone, one cannot confuse what is taking place on their site with stonemasonry. Pierre Bleue Belge is not about finish and refinements but takes care of everything that comes upstream: digging the ground for stone, extracting blocs, analyzing their qualities and cutting them into slices of various thicknesses. Six hundred large slices are cut daily at the quarry.