AN ARTISTIC tribute to the black diamonds on which Rotherham’s fortunes were built for generations is being planned for later this year.
Artists from Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield and beyond are producing new works for Old King Coal, which will be unveiled at the Old Market Gallery in November.
From coal-faced workers, child labour, comradeship and leisure activities to pit disasters and confrontations, the exhibition will be a visual glimpse at aspects of coal mining in South Yorkshire and across Britain.
Artworks will include a range of mediums, including paintings, drawings, collages, sculpture and photography.
Organiser Derek Alport is working alongside Vicky Hilton, curator at the Old Market Gallery, to pull together the show, which will be launched on Saturday, November 18, and run until December 9.
Vicky said she now hoped more artists would come forward and contribute their pictures, words and memories to the collection.
“We want to include artworks from schools, community groups, unions and collectors,” she said.
“We want to showcase memorabilia, poetry, pictures and memories from the local people to help complement the artworks on display.”
Many of the selected artists have grandparents who worked in the local coal industry.
Derek added: “'Although the exhibition will be chronological in parts, it will not hesitate to celebrate the soul of this massive industry which filled the lives of men and women who worked together, holidayed and pursued leisure activities together.
“This kind of community spirit was often the bi-product that only massive industries could and can create'.”
If you are an artist, part of a school or community group, pit band, a union or a private collector, the show’s organisers want to hear from you.
You can contact Vicky Hilton for more details at Vicky@omtc.org.uk call her on 01709 829446.