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Protect

Protect

An installation by Al Johnson, commemorating the Miners’ Strike, 1984-1985

4 August 2015 — 17 September 2015

4 August - 17 September 2015, Protect installation @ People's History Museum © Al Johnson

Time 10:00 - 17:00

Duration 7 hours

Cost In order to keep our exhibitions programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation

This installation by Al Johnson celebrates the determination shown by the miners and their families, against implacable political determinism during the Miners’ Strike 1984-1985.  The exhibition is also on display at the Working Class Movement Library.

Artist statement by Al Johnson:
‘I am a sculptor and I was commissioned by Mitchell Arts Centre to make a new work to commemorate the 1984-1985 Miners’ Strike.  Protect is the result of that commission.  I have had a longstanding interest in the mining industry and the events of 1984-1985 are now seen as an enormously significant period in working class and trade union history.

The curved transparent police riot shield, that became an abiding symbol of opposition to the strike, will act as a central form for the installation.  These freestanding objects, both riot shield and protective armour, are made from red stained plywood.  On each shield a statement, slogan, or quote will evoke the mood and moment of the strike.  The text used on the shields will reference the miners, their families and supporters.  Visitors can move amongst the massed red shields as if moving against an oncoming tide.

The installation celebrates the determination shown by the miners and their families, against implacable political determinism.  In addition it references a parallel battle that was waged alongside the strike, a war of words from the media, the strikers, the police and politicians of all hues.

Protect is a reminder of the battle for jobs and communities, a commemoration, not only of the miners and their families, but of a time of great community solidarity.’

Suitable for adults and young people