The official opening of a Memorial Garden at The National Coal Mining Museum of England took place earlier this month.
As the project’s title suggests, the memorial garden acknowledges all who lived their lives in mining communities, as well as those who lost their lives in the pits.
Broadbent Studios were commissioned to create an artwork that forms an integral part of the garden. Chris Brammall were commissioned for design development, manufacture and installation.
The concept centres around a semi-circular, weathering steel ‘screen’, The screen is designed to suggest a seam of coal pierced by the workings of a mine. Channels cut to represent shafts and levels, into which visitors can place coloured ‘tokens; to honour relatives or friends who worked in the mines. The undulating shape of the screen serves to lighten the overall impression.
The coloured disc has a connection to the miner’s tag. - so a disc placed into a channel suggests a miner at work. The use of coloured glass reflects the character and life of all those connected with the industry. Each coloured disc contains the name of a miner, the name of a colliery and a date. The screen, when filled will resemble a stained glass window.
For visitors connected to the mining industry, this creates a work-in- progress to which they can contribute. They have the opportunity to make their way to the garden holding their individual disc and to have it placed in position.
For other visitors, it creates a stimulating artwork and hopefully moving memorial to explore. In time, discs bearing the names of miners from collieries all over the country will come to sit side by side.
For more information please visit www.ncm.org.uk