County Durham gallery pays tribute to beloved artwork

A County Durham gallery is paying tribute to one of its best-loved artworks with a series of special celebrations starting this week.

Mining Art Gallery in Bishop Auckland Market Place is the current home of Miner and Child by acclaimed artist Tom McGuinness.

A series of weekly events have now been planned to celebrate the drawing, before it leaves as part of a re-hang at the gallery later this year.

The artwork depicts a miner, apparently just home from a shift in the pit, cradling his unwell daughter in his arms. Sketched in Conté crayon, the artwork’s soft lines and sensitive portrayal of its subject offers a gentle view into the usually tough world of coal mining.

From 2pm to 4pm, every Sunday in September, visitors will be able to enjoy the famous artwork whilst listening to music inspired by the piece.

Composed by BBC Introducing musician, Glenn Maltman, the track will be played in the gallery where Miner and Child is displayed, creating an emotive audio-visual experience.

Those keen to hear more about the inspiration behind the music, can meet Glenn himself, who will be at the Mining Art Gallery on 2, 9 and 23 September between 2pm and 4pm.

He will be joined by Corinne Aspel, daughter of (the artist), Tom McGuinness who will also be on hand to offer visitors a unique insight into the history of the artwork.

Corinne, who volunteers at the Mining Art Gallery, said: “I’ve always loved this piece of art because it is such a beautiful drawing and a lot of people do seem to relate to it very strongly.

“The man in the artwork is a friend of my father’s. They worked together down the pit and I think people react to seeing a tough miner cradling his child with such tenderness.”

Miner and Child has been on display since the Mining Art Gallery opened in October 2017 and has proved extremely popular with the gallery’s 12,000 visitors.

The artwork is on loan from Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead and will return there on Monday, 1 October. Its departure is part of a re-hang of the Mining Art Gallery’s collection, that will see the building close from Monday, 1 October to Saturday, 13 October re-opening with a number of new artworks on display.

The musical composition, Miner and Child, will be played in the upstairs gallery at Mining Art Gallery between 2pm and 4pm every Sunday throughout September.

Musician, Glenn Maltman and Corinne Aspel, Mining Art Gallery Volunteer and daughter of mining artist, Tom McGuinness, will be at the gallery on 2, 9 and 23 September.

Mining Art Gallery is open daily 10am- 4pm, tickets are available at £5 adults, £4, concessions and £1 under-16s. For more information visit,, sign up to The Auckland Project’s regular newsletter or follow The Auckland Project on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.