Emma Phillips is a talented young photographer and imager-maker based in Melbourne, Australia. In her new series “Salt”, Emma documents the barren, surreal landscape of an abandoned salt mine. Phillips’ photographs of a salt mine in the Nullarbor Plain of Western Australia make the familiar look otherworldly. Phillips also traces fragments of industrial and domestic infrastructure within this strange environment. The arc of a conveyor belt juts obliquely from towering apex of salt; a caravan, itself blasted white, sits oxidising in the midst of a vast, sun-beaten, white plane; an orange digger chugs across an otherwise colourless frame.
Phillips captured the quiet stillness of an an industry almost 6,000 years old. Somewhere around a quarter billion tons of salt is produced each year through mining or the evaporation of seawater and other mineral-rich water. The western portion of Australia, where much of the Nullarbor Plain is located, produces the majority of the country’s salt.
Emma says she stumbled on the mine by chance, and shot for a few hours to capture as much of the landscape around her as possible.