An artwork to commemorate miners and their families was created at the memorial garden linked to the National Coal Mining Museum for England, which acknowledges all who lived their lives in mining communities, as well as those who lost their lives in the pits.
The garden is set apart from the mine buildings and offers a place to sit, to think, and to gather together.
The idea behind the artwork was based on a series of weathered steel screens that become an artwork memorial, filling with colour and growing as visitors place tokens within, to honour relatives who worked in the mines.
Each screen is designed to suggest a seam of coal, pierced by the workings of a mine. Coloured discs representing miners' tags can be placed into a channel in one of the screens, suggestive of a miner at work.
For visitors connected to mining, this creates a work-in-progress, to which they can contribute. For other visitors, it creates a stimulating artwork and 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.
As it grows, the screen will resemble a stained glass window, made by the multitude of different coloured discs.
The central circular seat feature is fashioned from Longridge Sandstone, within which coal flecks can be seen. It includes a circle of granite with a simple carved epigraph, ‘Lives Lived, Lives Lost’.
It is proposed that the stone will become a place where visitors can access, through their own digital device, different stories, sounds or songs relating to the mining community.