Back to All Events

Other Side of the Line: A Solo Exhibition by Vanessa Short


5th-19th December 2015

Opening Night 4th December 6-8pm


This December, Surface Gallery welcomes Vanessa Short to Nottingham to present a different side of the national miners strike of 1984-85, thirty years on.

Other Side of the Line is a collection of photographs and audio footage of miners who defied union leaders and returned to work before the year-long strike officially ended.  Raised in a coal-mining family herself, Short began the project to shed light on the seldom-told stories of these men and the stigma they lived with after crossing the picket line. 

After thirty years, they emerge from the darkness of both the pit bottom and their silence to reveal their stories of life after the coal fields.’’

Thirty stories from across the UK are captured in a portrait of each individual, and represent them ‘moving out of the darkness and into the light.’

Visitors can also hear of how difficult it was to make their decision through audio interviews accompanying the photographs; the miners share their name, their colliery and their reasons for breaking the strike.  

Many also tell of the enduring impact that their choice has had on their own and their families lives, although it is now widely understood that the miners actions were not responsible for the death of Britain’s coal industry.

“These are the people who shared the other side of a bitter strike that divided this country and its communities.’’

Other Side of the Line sets out to give a voice to the miners who did cross the line and honour their strength after remaining unsung for so long.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.