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Irwin, Bernard, Smith, Jesse Leroy: Dark flowering, signed and dated 2016, hard and soft ground etching with spit bite and hand colouring (4 of an edition of 25), 56.5 x 66.5 cms.


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"Mining fortunes funded great houses and great estates which changed the landscape just as surely as the mining industries did. Plants were brought back from around the world and lush gardens were planted above the dark world of mines that enabled them to flourish."

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.