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dc.contributor.authorPrice, Narbi-
dc.descriptionPh. D. Thesisen_US
dc.description.abstractThe Ashington Group’s paintings are a celebrated historical record of a working community. However, central narratives based on limited accounts and partial knowledge of their technical methods and materials, have led to arguably simplistic interpretations and misleading characterisations, both through previous curatorial approaches and popular media, including Lee Hall’s play, The Pitmen Painters. Using three distinct methodologies - archival research, curatorial and creative practices, my research challenges dominant narratives about the Group’s intentions, methods, output and legacy. What new insights can be gained by the study of the pedagogical approach of tutor Robert Lyon? Archival research and close analysis of Lyon’s MA thesis (previously believed lost), informed by my deep knowledge of painting practices, provided a new basis to interrogate established texts and ideas. How can enhancing the Ashington Group public display better reflect their inherent criticality, creative motivation and material sophistication, thereby improving understanding? A curatorial project and new exhibition, Pitmen Painters Unseen, identified and gathered previously un-exhibited work, addressed incomplete narratives that exists within the Permanent Collection at Woodhorn Museum, and in combination, presented the most comprehensive exhibition of Ashington Group works ever staged. Expanding the range of publically available material reveals that, whilst resolutely amateur, the Group demonstrated a sophisticated self-awareness, actively responding to their own changing history and geography. Can this increased understanding meaningfully inform contemporary painting? Drawing upon innovative painting and psychogeographical practices, my major new body of work, The Ashington Paintings, investigates the changed landscape of a common geography. It engages with the Permanent Collection, its construction and shared longitudinal study of the locale, and provides a neoteric position on how contemporary practice can have an informed, discursive relationship with historical collections. The Ashington Group can, I conclude, be critically re-evaluated as a responsive and self-reflexive group of artists, capable of informing contemporary practice.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)en_US
dc.publisherNewcastle Universityen_US
dc.titleRepainting the Pitmen : The Ashington Art Group & Robert Lyon - Rethinking Legacy through Archive and Practiceen_US
Appears in Collections:School of Arts and Cultures

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