First Art photographer featured in The New York Times

Date published: 9 Jul 2015

Posted by: Joe Pick

Miner Ashley Makins taking a tea break during his shift.

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Congratulations to First Art photographer David Severn, whose work has been featured in the The New York Times. The article, written by David, contains a number of images produced for First Art’s Portrait project. An exhibition of work was held in Mansfield Market Place in May 2015. David’s work formed part of a larger personal project, “Thanks Maggie”, which examines Thatcher’s effect on mining communities in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

In this extract David explains his project:

“With the loss of so many jobs, communities in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire have been hit hard economically and socially. I began photographing the people and places of these once thriving coalfields to capture the cultural and social life and to mark the final chapter in the decline of coal mining in Britain. These images are from my project “Thanks Maggie,” named for Margaret Thatcher’s role in the strike and the mine closures.

Throughout my journey I have trudged miles of the former colliery railway, linking village to village. I’ve encountered rock ’n’ roll fanatics and ballroom dancers, rabbit hunters and proud former and current miners, bingo callers and brass band players, among other dedicated people and community groups.

Postindustrial recovery has been a long process and unemployment and health and wellbeing statistics indicate there is much work to be done. Nonetheless, cultural life dies hard and people, young and old, continue to be united by their passions — music, art, sports — and a commitment to their community.”

Read the full article on the New York Times website.