Stuart Whipps’ video commission The Carboniferous Epoch (2013) examines how Britain’s new towns – built during the optimism of post-war Britain – have become landscapes of either mass consumption or high unemployment in a single generation.
The 14 minute film examines how the North East’s new towns – especially Peterlee – built during the optimism of post-war Britain – have become landscapes of either mass consumption or high unemployment in a single generation.
The film is part of a series each examining different new towns. This was the first to be completed, based on archival documents and footage about Peterlee in County Durham. Necessary Amendments about Milton Keynes followed in 2019, and Homes for the People about Harlow, Basildon and Hatfield is the most recent film, completed in 2020.
Commissioned by NEPN and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and supported by Arts Council England.
The piece was shown in the group exhibition You Are the Company in Which You Keep (Part 1) at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland during The Social: Encountering Photography international festival.