This is a collection of paintings inspired by the mining heritage of Cornwall and Devon. I have been exploring their legacy, visiting ancient sites, taking photos, sketching and discovering information about mines, miners and their families.
I love to work in a sketch book, drawing from life, from my photographs, from other photographs and from information on the web.
I found many written accounts of the harsh life the miners and their families led, as the weeks went on I became very absorbed and started to empathise and became very emotional . I read accounts about disasters, fatalities and accidents, these being the extremes as well as everyday accounts of children walking for miles to work, then taking hours to get to the seam once inside the mine.
Inspired by my research, I began a new body of work exploring the dark environment of the mines and the contrasting brightness of light peaking through. Instead of painting the bright sunny day as it was I flipped into black and white and a mysterious dramatic landscape appeared.
I had already been working in black and white and the harsh contrast worked well as my mining theme.