Stone Exposures

2011 – 2015

Stone Exposures: A Cultural Geology of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site’ was Rose’s PhD thesis, completed in 2015 in the Department of Geography, University of Exeter. It was a funded Collaborative Doctoral Award from the Art and Humanities Research Council with the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site Team at Dorset County Council, forming part of their innovative ‘Creative Coast’ initiative.

Rose’s thesis explored the ways in which geologists and quarrymen work with stone, and how through tacit, attentive time spent with stone, different kinds of knowledge and understandings of the Earth are produced. She worked with Haysom’s Quarry, Purbeck and Albion Stone, Portland, as well as historic quarries including those at Beer, Branscombe and Salcolme Regis in East Devon. Her exploration of stone included carrying out ethonographic studies alongside film and photograpy, often spending long periods in particular places with particular places.

As well as looking at process of making and learning stone, Rose’s thesis followed narratives of stone through the opposing sites of the quarry void and the solid building. Stone from all the quarries studied had been used in Exeter Cathedral, which became the final gathering point of the stories.

She is currently writing this research into a book.

Rose’s work on stone has extended into her art practice. She was taught stone lettering by artist Gary Breeze, and masonry by the quarrymen at Haysom’s in Purbeck. She has taken her work on quarries and absences into her archaeological research. With Mark Edmonds she made Stonework (2013 Group VI Press) about the Neolithic axe factories in Cumbria, and more recently she has been researching the Roman quarry at Aldborough, publishing a visual essay ‘The Quarry: Stories from Fragments’ in the Norwegian Archaeological Review (2020). Rose continues to work on practical and research elements of Cultural Geology, including collaborations with Dr David Paton

The PhD was supervised by Caitlin DeSilvey and David Harvey, and was examined by Hayden Lorimer and John Wylie

Rose presented an episode of Open Country on Radio 4 about Purbeck stone in 2021. You can listen here.