Andrew Hay: Mining Deep the Discontent at Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum

Andrew Hay, 'Coal Dust to Gold Dust 1987 Privatisation'
Andrew Hay, 'Coal Dust to Gold Dust 1987 Privatisation'

Darkness on the Edge of Democracy

Wed - Sun: 10:00 - 17:00

From: 17 Apr 2024

To: 30 Jun 2024

Smith Art Gallery & Museum
Dumbarton Road
Stirling & Stirlingshire

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The miners’ strike of 1984, which left its mark in Stirling and throughout the UK, had a significant impact on Andrew Hay’s artistic career. At the time he was working as a Shop Steward for the Transport and General Workers’ Union, taking part in the strike by organising and delivering food parcels to mining communities. Bearing witness to such an historic event inspired him to paint scenes from the strike, which were purchased by Glasgow Museums, thus igniting his artistic career at the age of 39.

Darkness on the Edge of Democracy is an artistic assessment of the political agenda which led up to and followed the strike. In addition to painting, Hay, who passed away earlier this year while still working towards the exhibition, created collages with found objects such as coal bags and wallpaper to bridge the gap between mining life and art.  

Andrew Hay, 'Darkness on the Edge of Democracy'
Andrew Hay, ‘Darkness on the Edge of Democracy’

The Gallery’s director Caroline Mathers says, ‘It was vitally important to Andrew that these works are seen as a visual reminder of the devastation the strikes had on mining communities. He leaves an important legacy, one that will echo louder because of his dedication to recording the difficult things history often tries to forget.’

Andrew hay, 'Victory for Miners'
Andrew Hay, ‘Victory for Miners’

2024 marks the 40th anniversary of the miners’ strike, the 150th anniversary of the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, and the 900th anniversary of Stirling’s becoming a Royal Burgh.

Andrew Hay, 'The Blessed Margaret'
Andrew Hay, ‘The Blessed Margaret’

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