Context: The Coalite – History and Mystery?

The Coalite chemical company was a thriving industrial business invented in the early 20th century. ‘Coalite’ is the burning of coke then used as a smokeless fuel. The industry began to shrink during the 80’s and closed down officially in 2004, leaving a trail of waste and pollution in its path.

I’m planning on placing the sculpture in this context due to the current nature and surroundings of the location I wish to place it within. Now that the site is discarded debris and contamination resides and rots, which I see as an interesting platform for a response and reminder to the scar on the landscape.

The particular site I’m looking at is based in Bolsover, Derbyshire which was partly the company’s HQ.


Chemical Coalite – Laboratory, Bolsover, May 2010 (

Chemical Coalite, Bolsover, 2011 (

The site is now abandoned and laying to waste, clean-up proposals have been made and put forward however taking years to sort.

I look at the surrounding are and it makes me think of these words:

  • Uncanny
  • Desolation
  • Decay

An ideal location and context to place my sculpture, also it would be a suitable solution as to what will become of the place.


Chemical Coalite, Bolsover, September 2006 (