Review: surprise find in a new Mining Gallery in Bishop Auckland

Surprised to find my art in a new Mining Art Gallery, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham

“I had a call from my brother-in-law (who is a brilliant potter and artist) and he told me I had a painting hanging in the new Mining Gallery at Bishop Auckland.” – Gavin Mayhew

The same gallery that was feature in the Financial Times and ITV News at 10

UK gallery to celebrate the art of mining

1create - gavin mayhew mining gallery financial times

ITV News – Mining Art Gallery (Auckland Project)

“The gallery and its stunning contents is rather fabulous”

Gavin Mayhew

The painting in question was that of my father-in-law, who used to be a miner. He is long gone now but when he was alive I painted a few portraits of him.

It was painted in 1982 so it came as quite a surprise to me.

Harold also appeared in a few of the pub signs that I’d painted for such names as ‘the Miner’s Arms’; ‘the Colliery Inn’ etc.

I told him then that when he was long buried he’d still be hanging around pubs – and now he is hanging alongside the works by such esteemed artists as Tom McGuinness, Norman Cornish and Bob Olley.

Unfortunately the organisers forgot to invite me to the preview so I was on their bones sharpish.

As a result I did get a last minute invite to the preview on Thursday eve 19th October 2017 (I managed to get a few pics but apologies for the grainy quality).

I’ll be re-visiting the gallery at a later date to take better ones which I will eventually post.

I have to say the gallery and its stunning contents is rather fabulous and is well worth a visit.

Not only are the paintings of a high standard with some brill painterly techniques by a lot of untrained artists but the contents of them are highly emotive and nostalgic.

Most were by ex-miners.

There was even a painting of a miner’s cottage interior that could have been the house where my wife and her dad Harold lived, which included the old fire range, the tin bath and the outside netty.


Mining Art Gallery, Market Place, Bishop Auckland, DL14 7NP

Opening times:

Open daily from 10am to 4pm (Last entry at 3.30pm)

* Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day,

Since then I’ve raided the archives and found some photographs of other mining related paintings that I did between 1980 and 2000.

You can learn more about Gavin Mayhew and his Art at his Profile

click here