Sculpture to mark town’s mining heritage

Coun Tim Cheetham.
Coun Tim Cheetham.
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A STRIKING piece of artwork is to be installed in Barnsley town centre to commemorate the borough’s mining heritage.

Internationally-renowned artist Kenny Hunter has created the £165,000 sculpture, to be located outside the town’s transport interchange and stand six metres high, cast in bronze and patinated in black.

It depicts the figure of a child – symbolic of the past and future of Barnsley - standing on top of a column.

Beneath the child’s feet, the column represents the ‘Barnsley Bed’ seam of coal, which was the backbone of mining production in the South Yorkshire coalfield.

The earth below it invokes the hardships and scale of the human task of coal mining.

Kenny said: “It is a great honour to make a sculpture which will address the history, culture and community of miners.”

Previously, he has designed a number of high-profile public commissioned works.

He recently won a commission to produce a ‘Greatest Scot’ Sculpture at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

Coun Tim Cheetham, Barnsley Council cabinet spokesman for development, environment and culture, said: “The public space at the southern end of the interchange is an important arrival point and passengers going to and from the interchange will be able to recognise and identify with Barnsley.”

Installation will take four weeks and the sculpture will be unveiled in March.