This is a new body of photographic work that was shown for the first time in T/raum68, a project and exhibition centred on works or propositions for projects that were never realised. Co-exhibitors included Mary Kelly, Jan Hoet and Ewing Wurm. The six photographic pieces were made at Clipstone Colliery in Nottinghamshire and the surrounding area, which has now become a nature reserve. The background to the work includes reference to a commission form Nottinghamshire County Council to make a permanent light installation in one of the disused tunnels in the park and the dialogue leading up to the work being refused due to the persistent lobby from The British Horse Society.
The work explores the legacy of the 1987 Miners Strike and the role the controversial Nottinghamshire based breakaway union the UDM played in ending the strike and the closure of most of the nations coal mines, even in Nottinghamshire. Clipstone Colliery is now a deserted post industrial site surrounded by landscaping and leisure resources.
One of the key functions of ‘Refusal’ was to draw attention to the complex process of realisation of a public sited work and the way the proposal revealed and highlighted the differences of opinion between the middle class horse lobby and the unemployed miners who championed the project due to the fact that the proposed work was powered by wind power based electricity that would also provide free surplus power for them to use in their new developments. The work is expanded in accompanying comprehensive catalogue of the exhibition.
The work is also intended to form the basis for a larger project on mines to be shown in Mons in 2008. This will be a comprehensive project looking at the European legacy of the coal mining industry.