Between February and September 2017, the National Coal Mining Museum for England has been proud to host the exhibition ‘After the Coal Dust’. Taken shortly before the closure of Britain’s last deep coal mine, the photographers have sought to produce a body of work which offers a ‘dispassionate’ look at a series of towns and communities which have been directly impacted by the loss of our heavy industries.
Alongside those towns and cities that have benefitted from regeneration, ‘After the Coal Dust’ is a stark reminder of those areas which are still in the midst of recovery, often decades after their industries have disappeared. Unapologetically honest, and in some cases tinged with humour, this collection of photographs document another important chapter in the story of Britain’s post-industrial heritage.
May I take this opportunity of thanking you for the use of your wonderful images in our recent ‘After the Coal Dust’ exhibition at Bradford Industrial Museum. The exhibition was a great success attracting both new and repeat visitors to the mill.
Being West Yorkshire ‘born and bred’ so to speak many of the images were familiar to me, and prompted so many thoughts, emotions and memories of the local area particularly following the demise of mining and other ancillary trades.
To portray and reflect these feelings in the subjects of your images is a particularly fascinating gift which makes for a thought-provoking and often entertaining exhibition. I am sure that the humour and humanity in many of the images would resound in any post-industrial area. I do hope you maintain and enlarge the project in the future, providing an awe-inspiring record of the area which I am sure future generations will continue to find fascinating.
Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery displayed the ‘After the Coal Dust’ exhibition in its Community Gallery between February and April 2019.
The exhibition was enjoyed greatly by both visitors and staff members at the Museum, and provoked much debate and reflection about the changes to life in the north of England since some of the big industries have closed down.
John and Bridget were a pleasure to work with, and the exhibition was beautifully presented as well as containing many striking and memorable images.
Rais Hasan – LRPS LDPS
Bradford Photographic Society felt very honoured to have had John Gill as one of the key Speakers in our syllabus during September 2016. As President of BPS, I invited John, Bridget and Freya Gill, John took on the key speaker role with support from family. Best ever street photographers we have experienced for a very long time at BPS. Almost every image shown got a big WOW effect from members, followed by intense applaud, inspiring some in our group to pursue in the art of street photography, whole session was fascinating to view and very inspirational throughout.
John is an outstanding photographer who has the eye for perfect and very timely capture, followed closely by Bridget and Freya, specialising in street photography documenting life as it is today in Northern Cities and Towns, reflecting social structure and economy, capturing history in motion. No doubt their images will be seen by many throughout UK and rest of the World as historical images of the North for many years to come.
John, Bridget & Freya projected themselves as outstanding, with immense knowledge of society’s current, social and cultural phase, hence their speciality of street photography.
I feel it is an honour to have connective links with Gill’s family, they are the best in whole of Yorkshire in my opinion. Worthy of any photographic exhibitions and have the power of enlightening photography to attract general members of the public to the exhibitions.