TIN MINE,: MINER APPOACHING, TURNING TOWARDS VOICE FROM BELOW 1942
Graham Sutherland (1903 – 1980)
- 117.5 X 74.5 CM
- GOUACHE, CHALK, WAX CRAYON AND INK ON PAPER, MOUNTED ON HARDBOARD
- Accession number
During the Second World War Sutherland was commissioned as an official war artist by the War Artists Advisory Committee.. Sutherland had been hesitant as to how he could respond as an artist to the commission as his work had been concerned with ‘the more hidden aspects of nature’, works that attempted to ‘paraphrase what (he) saw and ...which were parallel to rather than a copy of nature’.
Sutherland visited Cornwall at the beginning of June 1942 to work in the Geevor Mine at Pendeen, half way between St Ives and Lands End in the South West of England. The mines had been reopened due to the scarcity of tin which had been, in peace time, imported. In an essay published in theDaily Telegraphy(September 1971), Sutherland wrote of the hair raising descent into the mine, going down ‘1,300 feet like a bullet’, yet he saw the mine as ‘a world of such beauty and such mystery’. His drawings focussed mainly on the miners: in portrait studies, or at work as they crouched drilling into the rock or pushed trucks of rock along the rail tracks. The drawing here shows a mining emerging from a tunnel deep in the mine which the artist described as ‘all was humid, the walls dripped water and the only light normally was from the acetylene lamps fixed to each man’s helmet’.>
This work was presented to the Collection by the War Artists' Advisory Committee.
Roberto Tassi, Sutherland The Wartime Drawings , Electa Editrice, Milan 1979/ Sotheby Parke Bernet, London 1980
Sutherland The War Drawings, Imperial War Museum, London, 1982