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Irwin, Bernard, Smith, Jesse Leroy: What lies beneath, signed and dated 2016, soft ground etching with aquatint and mono print (4 of an edition of 25), 67.5 x 56 cms.


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"One of the most spectacular aspects of mining in Cornwall are the submarine mines cut down through the cliff edge and out below the sea itself. We were particularly struck by descriptions of the sounds of the sea above and the mysterious noises of the 'knockers' in the labyrinth of tunnels"

Over the summer of 2016 Bernard Irwin and Jesse Leroy Smith embarked on a remarkable journey through the mining landscapes and heritage of Cornwall and West Devon. As they traveled they were joined along the way by t a host of artists, mining experts and enthusiasts, geologists, historians, archivists, book conservators, school children and members of the public. Each one contributed, through their participation, to the richness of experience and the depth of content so evident in all the artworks created along the way. All of this activity culminated in the creation of the suite of ten copper plate etchings made under the expert guidance of John Howard at his Penryn print studio. The final ten etchings are presented in handmade presentation boxes constructed by Elizabeth Neville & Louis Bauress & two Heritage Lottery Funded conservation trainees, Keira McKee ann Rhea Evers, in collaboration with the artists and St. Justin Jewellers.