Art and Coal... why not?
Yesterday saw me heading into Yorkshire, not all that far from Leeds, to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) and National Mining Museum (NMM) with a selection of colleagues from the University of Central Lancashire. The YSP is an interesting place, using out door space as a way to exhibit large scale sculptures is an interesting concept but personal did not interest me, the freezing winter winds probably didn't help. One thing that did catch my eye while there was a small exhibition titled Revolt & Revolutions which feature one of Peter Kennard's (a favorite aritis of mine) original photomontages; Haywain with Cruise Missiles. During my second year at University I was wrote an essay on his works with a concentration on this image so to be able to see the original in person was quite an experience.
Additionally we ventured to the National Mining Museum, not far from the YSP which holds so emotional value with me as many of my older relatives were miners in and around Stoke-On-Trent and I have very much grown up on their stories. Being able to down one of these pits, with former miners was an enlightening experience and one I strongly recommend to anyone who has a connection with our industrial past. Coal was a major part of Britain's past and is even a big part of my current project 1500 Volts DC in which the closed railway line I'm studying relied on a steady coal flow from Yorkshire pits like this one, and their demise ultimate killed off the Woodhead Railway.