Jeannette Unite –  “artist, bookmaker, collector of images and minerals and 
detritus, painter and paintmaker, photographer of the Industrial Sublime and post-industrial wasteland, teacher, filmmaker” – brings into her evocative 
works the ground up detritus expelled from mines.

Jeannette Unite
Jeannette Unite
Image: Annalize Nel

The one indulgence you’ll never forgo? My chemicals, minerals and metals, industrial waste and books. And my 1850s dining room table .

The grooming staples you are never without are… everlasting lipstick and Chanel Allure. 

Your all-time favourite gadget? My massive British GPS, almost as big as the windscreen, and the copy of William “Strata” Smith’s  200-year map that has accompanied my  10 000-mile road trips researching the British subterranean .

The single object you would never part with? My camera and its 10mm-22mm lens.

Your favourite drink? Inverness Gin is an addiction along with Iona’s Sauvignon Blanc, Creations Viognier, Vin de Constance. And Châteauneuf du Pape, which 
is an easy purchase when I am travelling and researching in the UK. 

The restaurant you frequent most often? Savoy Cabbage.  

Your personal style signifier? A strata necklace given to me by Italian style guru and exstudent Mikaela Bandini, who lives in Matera, Italy.

The last thing you bought and loved? Seeds that grow into plants and remind me daily of what a wonderful Earth we live on.

Your favourite timepiece and why? My granny’s gold Rolex, which I lost – having lost such a treasure gives me the freedom to buy cheap watches.  

An unforgettable place you’ve travelled to in the past year? The White Cliffs of Dover, Jurassic Coast, Germany’s coal mines on the Ruhr , Venice, Hermanus.

Châteauneuf du Pape is an easy
purchase when I am travelling

The book on your bedside table? The Map that Changed the World by Simon Winchester and My Uncle Tungsten by neurologist Oliver Sacks. 

The last meal that truly impressed you? Madam Zingara’s new tent – a spectacle which will be travelling around the country.

The last music you downloaded? If you don’t like my Peaches stay out of my Orchard, sung by Ella Fitzgerald in the St Louis Blues.

The thing you are eyeing next? Completing the sequel to Terra, my next 400-page art book, which examines the materials, minerals, laws, devices and systems artistically that humans use to divide, measure, survey and allocate the wealth that is gleaned from the Earth.

The one thing you will always find in your fridge? Anchovies, wasabi, ginger, tonic water. 

The best gift you’ve given recently? Super Boring, a book about artist Wayne Barker’s work, to Carlton Hood, the ex-CEO of And a blue guitar to my nephew that he said he has liked forever. I gave a birthday dinner with a scorpion cake to the editor of our next book – Complicit Geographies. Ivor Powell was a Scorpion (South African FBI) and is an anointed arts writer and original thinker.

And the best one you’ve received? Oxford University gave me stereoscopes and aerial photographs of Spain and the Isle of Skye that were predigital teaching aids. Along with crushed greenstone, minerals, clays, oolytes, fullers earth and coral rag from the sedimentary layers for my paintings to be exhibited at Exeter and in Germany. 

The place that inspires you and why? Top of my inspiration is the smelters and mines where massive machinery carve up the earth – nothing in comparison to geological forces, though.

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