Art project created by homelessness charity to be gifted to Wakefield's National Coal Mining Museum
and live on Freeview channel 276
“My Family Were Miners” is the work of service users, staff and volunteers at Sustain Wakefield, which works with vulnerable people at risk of homelessness, in conjunction with community arts project, The Urban Commune.
The obelisk sculpture, funded by Wakefield Council, represents a lump of coal and features imagery based on memories of growing up in Yorkshire coal mining communities around community, animals, power, turmoil and change.
The sculpture, currently in development, will be gifted to the National Coal Mining Museum later this week and will be exhibited from its handover on December 8 until March 2024.
Sustain volunteer and peer development coordinator, Fran Lomax, explained the idea for the project came from a discussion within the art group earlier in the year.
She said: “It was around mining in Wakefield, the memories people had of growing up in mining communities and the impact of the 1984/85 miners’ strike."
The obelisk is made from MDF and recycled materials with texturing from paper mâché, clay and real Caphouse Colliery coal to give the chunky rough appearance needed.
“Art and creativity are great for enhancing mental well-being.
"We have seen with our own service users that taking part in group activities helps alleviate loneliness and social anxiety, two of the mental well-being issues that can make people vulnerable to homelessness.
“We are extremely proud of what we have created and look forward to seeing it on display at the National Coal Mining Museum.”