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Local Life - Leigh & District - May 2018

Leigh & District's FREE local lifestyle magazine.

18 “The men at Astley

18 “The men at Astley Green talked about their camaraderie, and me and my team felt it. “I wouldn’t want to compare our work as it’s a short term thing, but it’s a way to share our tales with those men and women. “We deliberately took a picture as Pit Brow Lasses. Women were there in the 50s and 60s but were banned from going underground in the 1800s. “Those women, who worked in the mine, are forgotten so much, but they were there day in day out too.” Upcast (2017) by Mary Griffiths. Credit - Michael Pollard “It’s been very important to me.” “Everything in the show was made especially for it and its all come from my experience and enrichment as an artist at Astley Green. “But we also have other things kindly lent to us, like a piece of rope from the mining museum itself. “A steel train door, painted in industrial red from Astley Green. I wanted to make the door pop against all the graphite, and I chose ‘Palatine Paints’ which are from Atherton and its local. I had no idea so it’s quite fitting. “We’ve also been lent a large group of fossils from the Museum of Wigan Life, all those that have been dug up from the area which were found by the miners or pit brow lasses. “They show the ancient drawings of nature, from ferns and other plants. There will also be a drawing of the coal field, pigeons and life in the area. “The exhibition is about how beautiful the engineering of the NW is, especially Leigh.” Astley Green will also house two of Mary’s works – or interventions – which create something new out of objects at the site. ‘The Bower’ will look like a seeds pod, and in the summer months will look like the Bower in a summer home filled with flowers, and ‘The Shaft’ which features a 20 diameter circle to represent the underground shafts and has been planted out with wild flowers. Mary’s exhibition at the Turnpike runs until Saturday, May 26, and is open 10am-4pm Tuesday to Friday, and 10am-2pm on Saturdays. “I made a few works last year, but it’s taken more than 10 months. The big wall drawing will take a month, and we’re here from 9.30am-5.30pm working. It’s all done with a stick of graphite and a spoon. “I want the big drawing to make people go ‘wow’. It will be very shiny and people will be reflected in it, so people will almost feel a part of the story. “Anyone who has worked in the mines will recognise it, as the first part is all about underground Lancashire. “The second part focusses on the different lines over ground like the Mersey line, Bridgewater Canal, all those service lines.

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