Visit to Easington Colliery - 48 hours

 

2014

 

I was given a brief where I had to go somewhere I had never been before for 48 hours and create a body of research and a visual response. Easington is listed as one of the least diverse places in Britain. I wanted to go somewhere I felt out of my comfort zone and I thought Easington sounded like it might do exactly that. Over the 2 days I spent in Easington I was pleasantly surprised by how welcomed I felt. Everyone I spoke to was, yes surprised I was there, but also interested and keen to answer any questions I asked. I learnt all about how the mines closed down, the oil explosion that killed 89 men in 1989 and the general effects the closure of the mines had had on Easington. What struck me most was the pride the people had in their heritage and the strength of their community. The people I meet were determined to not allow Easington to crumble as it easily could in such hard circumstances.

Visually I wanted to express the change from my initial impressions of the people I meet to the altered one once I had interacted with the community. I did this by creating faces using contour lines. The contour lines act as wrinkles. Wrinkles to me visually represent an individuals experience of life. I used the colours of brands that I noticed on my trip. I did this to emphasise the importance to not stereotype people due to what brands they consume. People are not products of brands but of the experiences and environment they are surrounded by. With the portraits I created I intend to place them on closed shop shutters. This was a visual that stuck with me as I saw many a closed shop shutter on my stay in Easington. It represents on a small scale the closure of the mines and the question to whether Easington will ever recover.