Durham Coalfield

John Davies

A landscape survey exploring the impact of the industry on the working coalfield. It was commissioned and first shown in 1983 and toured extensively during the Miners’ Strike.

The project was a collaboration with the writer Graeme Rigby and focused on the, then, 13 working collieries, major opencast mines and, to a lesser extent, the drift mines and seacoal gatherers. Davies is a landscape photographer who was born in the Durham Coalfield. Interested in visual stories about process, change, transformation, the work represented a shift for him into a detailed engagement with the industrial landscape. For Amber / Side Gallery the commission formed part of a wider engagement with coalfield concerns in the build-up to the strike, which included Bruce Rae’s Easington: A Mining Village and Amber Current Affairs Unit’s News from Durham / Where Are We Going?

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