Stories from the Underground
Exhibition: June 3 – July 30, 2011
“The underground imagery of the mine is profoundly mythical, an archetype associated with darkness, the unknown and the primordial. Stories From Underground reveal the strange light of a people who have emerged from the mine’s conditions of incommensurable darkness, from the Abyss.
Coal mining, its history as one of the oldest Industrial Revolution cultures and the stories for the miners are manifestation of the Abyss– embodying the fear of being literally consumed by the earth underground (and its parallel to a more ancient terror of the carnivorous primordial forest lurking deep within the recesses of the psyche) and the frightful economic machinery above. Stories From Underground is a fairy-tale reconstructed from an unbroken lineage of oral histories in the South Wales coalfields. These stories developed over two and a half centuries from the invention of ‘deep shaft’ technology, making cheap energy available on a scale that transformed humanity and created the modern world.”