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Irwin, Bernard, Smith, Jesse Leroy: Copper Rush, signed and dated 2016, hard ground etching with a la poupée and second plate in sugar lift (4 of an edition of 25), 56.6 x 68 cms.


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"Caradon Hill saw one of the most dramatic upwellings of wealth in the history of Cornish mining; for just 50 years there was a frenzy of activity that produced great riches before the boom was over and mining activity all but ceased."

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.