“The Drift explores the harshness and dangers of coal mining in one of the last working pits in England”
Last year I went along to a Redeye talk given by Ian Beesley on his work The Drift. I was in love with the images and after hearing Ian Beeesley talking about his images and experiences even more so, there is a real sense of respect and friendship with the miners which he had established over a long period of time. I love how he spoke so affectionately almost giving off a sense of reminiscing and reflection of the men he had become friends with. I immideiately purchased his book after the talk and Ian Beesley signed it too.
Today myself, Lauren and Madeline finally found time to re-visit the people’s history museum to look at Ian Beesley’s work as the last time we visited we were only able to view Red Saunders exhibition due to a one day event in the space where Ian Beesley’s work was on display. The work was on display in the engine hall at the back of the People’s History Museum, an exceptionally large and slightly industrial feeling room with big glass windows, concrete floors, green and cream pot tiled walls and a really high ceiling . The space was also quite cold which potentially worked for the nature of the project on display, however only a small ares was used to showcase the work. It felt almost as though the images had just been shoved out into the corners of the room as not to prevent to room from having other functions.
Seeing his work exhibited was definitely pleasurable though, all the images seemed more poignant and powerful than when viewed in the book or digitally as part of his presentation at his talk. Despite this, little details such as the handwritten notes on the prints and the poem to accompany the images definitely made it a worthwhile trip.