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Sutherland, Graham Vivien
b. 1903, Streatham, England; d. 1980, London, England
Study for Outcast Coal Mining Production, n.d. Drawing with pencil, pen, ink, pastel, watercolor, 58 x 48 cm Collection: The National Coal Mining Museum for England, Wakefield.
Outcast Coal Production, Depositing Earth from Buckets, 1943. Gouache on paper, 70 x 85.3 cm Collection: Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums, Aberdeen
Graham Sutherland is a British painter of imaginative landscapes, still lifes and portraits. His work often draws on the wonderful diversity of rich shapes in nature. Abstracting these, his work sometimes acquires a surrealistic radiance. His landscapes are full of angular lines, distorted forms, painfully bright yellows and fiery, glowing reds. He loved to work in Pembrokeshire in southwest Wales, a region known for its coal mining; Outcast Coal Production was made there. It shows two large, symmetrically positioned slag heaps on either side and a smaller one in the middle. Two draglines with pointy crane arms on the top left and right corners, pierce like thorns into the frame. The digging buckets of the two draglines dump their cargo on the slag heaps in tandem, like two vomiting prehistoric monsters. A remarkable detail in this gouache gives rise to an imaginative interpretation: the bottom of the left mountain appears to be lifted, like the edge of a rug, and the waste up front seems ready to be swept underneath. FL