Bell Island_Day 02

On our first morning on Bell Island, we were all eager to get to the museum to assess the site and take stock of the work to come.

When ERA members visited Bell Island in July to consult with the museum and community as well as conduct historical research about the iron ore mines, we were inspired by the ways in which mining had profoundly impacted the landscape of the island. As you travel across the island, mine tailings are present everywhere in the form of large piles of rock. Though past Culture of Outports builds have often employed wood construction, as a group we were determined to honour the local rock material by prominently using it in our design. As the museum expressed interest in using the build as the starting point for their Miner’s Memorial Garden for the workers who lost their lives in the mines, we thought it only fitting that our design should make use of the local material. Over the course of our design workshops at ERA in the weeks leading up to the build, we decided to use gabion baskets filled with iron ore tailings as a primary construction technique and material for the build.  

On Day 2 of the build, we arrived at the museum site and staked out our design on the landscape. ERA’s Philip Evans arrived in the afternoon to discuss our layout and present the project to the wider community. The museum hosted our presentation and we received valuable feedback from the community about our design. We also got the opportunity to get the word out there that we were looking for helping hands in the days to come – something that definitely came in handy later in the week!

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