We’ve finally got a show up presenting the idea for the Mining Sculpture for Doncaster.. Frenchgate Shopping centre kindly gave us a shop space, and we’ve put on a show..
It’s called a ‘A Rich Seam’
Had pods booths and posters all over the shopping Mall.. felt quite important..
Here’s some of the plaster heads being prepared for the show.. each miner who sat for one, received a head.
Fantastic photo portraits of the miners were taken by Danny Heaton and the students of film and photography at Doncaster College, they looked heroic!
The proposed sculpture will feature a myriad of bronze Miners portraits, presented in small niches in a rock, as though they were a seam of coal.. each head will be connected to a film made during the portrait session. These will be digitally accessed at the sculpture, so you’ll scan a code and get the film of the head you’re looking at..
A digital archive as well as a piece of art!
Set into the paving around the sculpture will be a glossary of words and mining terms particular to Doncaster, each Pit and there were a lot surrounding Doncaster, had its own particular language and terminology. some of these will be etched into the pavement, alongside the names of the Pits and Colliery’s and we hope names of miners who have been sponsored to feature in the scheme.
So you’ll walk over the language as you approach the sculpture , meet the miners the users of the language, listen and watch them on your phone and then on the otherside meet the big listening miner.. what a treat.
You can see the mock-up of the rock in the shop.. with a few of the heads in plaster in their niches….
Apparently its very ‘Game of thrones’ which is cool.. though I wouldn’t know.
Its going to be much bigger.. this is the other side of it.. A listening miner stands in a shaft, listening to the settling mine (the sounds of the geology of the mine settling was something that came up frequently in the sessions) He is also listening to the voices on the other side.
Imagine the Miner is six-foot high to get an idea of the scale..
And to make it all perfect.. I had a massive printed wall of a load of the sketches made in the research and development of the project.. it was printed and pasted up like wallpaper. You can see another maquette of the miner here.. I like the fact that he engages with the drawings.
Here’s some shots of the heads being prepped.
The opening was like a reunion, I was stunned at the positivity. There were times when I thought it would be impossible to get an idea that would satisfy all parts of this incredibly proud community, worse than Brexit.. But the miners were very supportive, and the feedback from visitors has been emotional in some cases. I think we are tapping into something , creating a new community around the rock..We are still looking for miners and those related to mining in the area, to come and offer their heads! Have a photographic portrait done and then go forward to be selected to be in the sculpture, get in touch with Jo Mcquade at email@example.com to put your or a friend’s name forward and for the dates of the photo session s at Frenchgate. (It will be in the first week of August.)
The show continues at Frenchgate Shopping centre until the 4th of August. below is the invitation..
Its being ‘crowd funded’.. please support the project by clicking on the link and making a donation.. tell all your friends and Networks.
The wax heads were also being exhibited as part of the ‘Revelation of the Head’ show at Messum’s Wiltshire.
Heres the rather fine catalogue for the show.
Also finished and installed the first four Niche figures for Heveningham Hall in Suffolk, a fantastic opportunity. Here’s a taster- shots from the install..
better shots in the next blog..
You are still able to see this very large plaster head (‘Time out of mind’ is its name) at Jason Gaythorne Hardy’s, White House Farm,in Glemham, Suffolk. Where it had its first outing at the ‘Alde Valley Spring Festival’ ,if you want to visit it or indeed Jason at the farm where lots of art is available to be seen throughout the year, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org . It will stay here until it’s needed for a big show I have coming up at Messums Wilts in September 2019.
Excuse the moody look.. I should have listened to Doug the photographer and said ‘cheese’, anyway I’m only there to give you an idea of the scale of this thing.
On top of all that visits to my studio and foundry go on, here are the ‘Norfolk Contemporary Arts society’ on a visit earlier this month.. ‘The society of British Portrait sculptors’, and the ‘Suffolk Art fund’ will have visited before the summers out.. if you want to organise a group just get in touch.. email@example.com
Last but not least I’m opening a show at the Diss Corn Hall this friday the 20th.. 6pm all welcome. Writer and Broadcaster, Malcom Donay will be a Q&A’ing me in the theatre there on the same evening and we will be showing the ‘Creek Man’ and ‘Thousand tides’ films .. the show will continue until September the 1st..
After all that the team deserve a good rest.
Tom, Nhung, Louis, Ed, Fred, Eva and Rowan!
….till the next time!