The Pitman Painters (or the Ashington Group to give them their formal title) originated out of a WEA art class for a group of Ashington miners in the 1930's. Their paintings depicting life below and above ground in their pit community were critically acclaimed, and their experiences became to subject of Lee Hall's play 'The Pitman Painters' in 2007.
In this episode Rosie Serdiville interviews WEA volunteer Elaine Pope, who knew one of the painters, Oliver Kilbourne. Elaine discusses the groups origins, her somewhat overlooked role in bringing the groups' work back to public consciousness in the 1980's and why art continues to be just as important to life and adult education, as employment skills.
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