Echoes from underground


Immerse yourself in the evocative series of acrylic paintings inspired by a transformative visit to ‘The Big Pit’, a living testament to the coal mining communities of Wales. This collection of seven canvases by CIMBarbour captures the essence, hardship, and camaraderie of the mining world, portraying not just a profession but a way of life that has shaped generations.

  1. Family: The journey begins at home, where the resilience of the mining family comes to life. A father, cloaked in the wear of his labor, shares a moment of tenderness with his two children. This piece beautifully captures the contrast between the grime of work and the purity of family love, highlighting the sacrifices made in pursuit of a better life.
  2. Scavenging: Children, innocent yet prematurely aged by their surroundings, pick coal from a slag heap. This painting poignantly depicts the harsh realities faced by mining families, relying on scraps of coal to warm their homes. The determination in their young eyes mirrors the indomitable spirit of their community.
  3. Delivery: A depiction of the vital yet often overlooked role of delivery in the mining ecosystem. A man, with resolve etched into his features, guides his horse and cart laden with coal. This image is a nod to the lifeline that coal represented for many, fueling not just homes but the very heart of industry.
  4. Snap: Dive into the depths where a miner, illuminated by the faint glow of his lamp, takes his ‘snap’ break in solitude. This canvas captures the profound isolation of working underground, a moment of respite in the suffocating darkness, highlighting the personal sacrifice behind the coal that powered nations.
  5. Discovery: Witness the electrifying moment of discovery, where miners, face to face with a new coal seam, see their hopes reflected in the black gold before them. The artist skillfully portrays the rush of excitement, unity, and anticipation, a fleeting yet powerful reminder of why they delve into the earth.
  6. Returning: With faces etched by coal dust and the weight of the day, miners ascend from the bowels of the earth. This painting is a powerful homage to the end of a grueling shift, the relief of seeing daylight, and the camaraderie that sustains spirits in the face of relentless toil.
  7. Beyond: The final piece in the series invites viewers to peer through a newfound hole in the pit wall, alongside the miners. What lies beyond? This painting symbolises the unknown future of mining communities, facing uncertainty but always driven by a collective curiosity and hope.

“Echoes from underground” transcends time, capturing the enduring spirit of the mining community. Each canvas, a window into the miner’s world, invites reflection on the sacrifices made beneath the surface, reminding us of the human cost embedded in the coal that fueled a nation’s progress.

Visit The Big Pit –