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Narbi Price: The Ashington Paintings

May 26th 2018 to September 16th 2018 temporary Exhibition

This exhibition presents a new body of work, The Ashington Paintings by North East artist Narbi Price. 

The Ashington Paintings developed from Narbi’s PhD research into the story, materials and methods of the Ashington Group of artists (also known as the Pitmen Painters). The work explores the changing landscape of Ashington, once known as the world’s ‘Biggest Mining Village’, and the place that provided the inspiration for the Pitmen Painters’ work.

The paintings offer a glimpse at the stories of Ashington’s industrial past, now obscured behind redevelopment and modernisation. Where once stood Ashington Colliery, now stands a business park. The QEII Country Park’s swan-filled lake has replaced the biggest slag heap in Europe.

Paintings include 'Untitled Bridge Painting (Spine Road)’, which depicts the site of Len Robinson’s 1975 painting ‘Wansbeck Bridge’. Other works include ‘Untitled Wall Painting (Big Red Jobbie)’ which you can find here at Woodhorn Museum, ‘Untitled Flowers Painting (Colliery)’, ‘Untitled Road Painting (Colliery)’, ‘Untitled Bus Stop Painting (Colliery)’ and ‘Untitled Trees Painting (Colliery)’ which show the sites of the five Ashington Coal Company collieries as they are today.

In The Ashington Paintings, Price also explores the artistic techniques of the Pitman Painters; everything from the paint they used to the painting supports. Through acknowledging the sophistication and subtlety of their painterly methods, Price challenges myth that the group members were naïve or amateur painters. 
Price says “The Ashington Paintings is about celebrating the Pitmen Painters’ artistic journey and documenting the sites of post-industrial history they so fondly captured. Studying their working methods has fundamentally changed my approach to making this new body of work.” 

This exhibition is part of the 'Pitmen Painters: Resurfacing' summer season at Woodhorn Museum which celebrates and explores the story of Ashington’s Pitmen Painters.   

The 'Pitmen Painters: Resurfacing' summer season at Woodhorn Museum has been made possible through the support of Northumberland County Council, Arts Council England, The Ashington Group Trustees, Ashington Town Council, Newcastle University and The Arts & Humanities Research Council. 

This season is part of The Great Northumberland Programme and Great Exhibition of the North 'Inspired By' programme.