Students get arty after Pitmen Painters studies

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A BRUSH with the world-famous pieces created by a group of Northumberland miners has inspired Morpeth school pupils to dig deep and produce their own works of art.

Over the last four months, more than 1,300 children from the county and parts of Tyneside have visited Woodhorn Museum to immerse themselves in the collection produced by the Ashington Group, known affectionately as the Pitmen Painters.

They then did a total of 900 individual and collaborative works, including paintings, sculptures and textured drawings.

Some focused on the dark and cramped conditions within a coal mine, others depicted details found within the miners’ paintings themselves.

The young people involved in the initiative included students at Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools and Technology Colleges and Collingwood School and Media Arts College in Morpeth and Grange View First School in Widdrington Station.

These new works will be on display at Woodhorn from this Saturday to Sunday, February 23 (10am to 3pm), in a free exhibition called Scratch the Surface.

As well as the pieces from the pupils, it will include original artworks and artefacts from the Pitmen Painters. The group was founded in October 1934.

Visitors will also find a special pop-up Ashington Group Hut – a fun immersive environment created by North East artist Paul Merrick.

It will be open every day during the exhibition from noon to 3pm, offering artist-led activities for all ages and abilities free of charge.