An artistic tribute to striking miners has been unveiled at The National Mining Museum.

Artist Yvette Vanson is behind the insightful portraits of mine workers, which are now on display at the Museum near Grange Moor.

The works have been comissioned to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1984 to 85 UK-wide miners’ strike, which was held to improve conditions and safeguard the futures of their jobs.

There were shocking scenes of violence at many pits as striking miners clashed with police and with people who chose to go into work.

Paintings of miners from all over the world are included in the display, to encourage visitors to question the political and social facets that surround the industry.

It is the latest development for Yvette, who has been portraying mining communities since the 1970s, when she travelled down Betteshanger Colliery.

She said: “As with my films, I am driven by a desire to eradicate injustice and believe art and culture are powerful tools to help bring about change – be it personal or political.”

Artist Yvette Vanson
 

Alongside the exhibit, which will run from January 12 to April 26 will be a free screening of her ground-breaking Channel 4 film, The Battle for Orgreave, where she will be present to hold a Q and A session.

The film will be shown on February 28.The award-winning documentary for Channel 4 was fuelled by the 1984 Rotherham ‘riot’, where many miners were charged and eventually acquitted for their part in the incident.

‘The Battle for Orgreave’, which is produced and directed by Vanson examines the trial as well as the economic and political aspects of the strike. Vanson took the miners back to the place where the confrontation with the forces of the state had happened on June 18, 1984, enabling the miners to re-enact their own experience of that day making the film a powerful testimony of the miners’ story.

Gwendolen Whitaker, a spokesman for The National Coal Mining Museum for England, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be welcoming Yvette Vanson and her exhibition to the Coal Mining Museum.

“With such a powerful insight into the real lives of mining communities, it’s a fantastic way to start the New Year and celebrate the mining industry.”

One of the paintings created by Yvette Vanson for an exhibition at the National Mining Museum