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Dr Robert McManners OBE and Gillian Wales

MINING ART GALLERY MOVING AHEAD Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Auckland Castle Trust, is transforming a historic, disused building in the heart of Bishop Auckland into a permanent Mining Art Gallery, in partnership with the Gemini Collection of Mining Art.

Earlier this week, Bishop Auckland and Shildon Area Action Partnership (AAP), confirmed it would be contributing funding to the landmark project, which will be the first gallery of its kind in the UK.

The Gemini Collection’s founders, Dr Robert McManners OBE and Gillian Wales, have spent more than 20 years gathering some of the most significant and thought-provoking examples of art by miners, as well as those inspired by the industry and the communities it affected.

This impressive collection, comprising more than 300 works, is kindly being gifted to Auckland Castle Trust to ensure it can be displayed for all to enjoy and made available for further academic research.

The new Mining Art Gallery, due to open later this year, will use the Gemini Collection to provide an emotive depiction of coal mining, from life underground and the harsh and often dangerous conditions miners endured, to the energetic social life that provided a brief respite for them and their families.

Helping to bring this experience to life, is a neighbourhood grant from Bishop Auckland and Shildon AAP, supported by Durham County Council, which has just been awarded to Auckland Castle Trust.

This will be used to create an immersive audio-visual experience at the Mining Art Gallery, recreating some of the sights, sounds and temperatures of life underground.

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