I have started a series of portraits/drawings of people who worked at Argyll Colliery, Machrihanish. These will form a body of work for an exhibition and will be a tribute to the workers. My intention is not only to include the men who contributed to The Road to Drumleman but also want to involve anyone who was too shy to participate or who simply slipped through the net because I had so little in the way of resources for the film project. If there is any who wishes to be portrayed/included or if you know someone who may be interested please contact me. You can do so via this blog, The Road to Drumleman Facebook page or contact me email: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also see the drawings as they progress on this Facebook page and here on the blog. Many thanks!
The Road to Drumleman tells the story of Kintyre’s last coal mine, The Argyll Colliery (1947–1967), the most remote coal mine in Scotland. Almost no physical traces of the mine remain and now it is hard to imagine that the well run mine thrived just behind spectacular Machrihanish Bay.
When artist Jan Nimmo’s father and former Argyll Colliery shot firer, Neil Nimmo, died, Jan realised that there was an urgency to gather the stories of the remaining miners. Through their personal narrative the film gives an insight into working life 50 years ago; of its hardships and camaraderie. The stories span the life of the mine and pay tribute to all of the men who worked invisibly beneath the wild and unspoiled shores of western Kintyre.
“The Road to Drumleman is a tribute to the miners of Argyll Colliery and a rich oral history of a hidden Scotland. Not just Kintyre, but the whole country is enriched by this moving, witty, compassionate landmark film”.
© Jan Nimmo 2014
I am a Glasgow based artist and filmmaker. My work is essentially about sharing peoples’ stories through artwork, film and writing. I am especially interested in agriculture, the lives of working people and Latin American popular culture.
I have worked with banana and pineapple workers in Latin America and Central Africa since 2000. I want workers’ testimony to help us, the consumers, to understand that the work is backbreaking, that a 12 hour day may be routine and that workers are often exposed to harmful, toxic chemicals. It is often difficult or impossible for workers to join a trade union in order to defend the most basic of rights so international solidarity is important. My work has been to make portraits (both woodcuts prints and photographs), installations, documentary films and to write about the experiences of banana workers.
I have travelled extensively in Latin America and am interested in Mexican and Guatemalan popular art and Cuban traditional music. Because I have a great affection for Mexico and am concerned about human right violations so I make artwork in solidarity with people and campaigns there. Since 2014 I have been making portraits in solidarity with the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero Mexico. These took a year to make and I continue to make work about Ayotzinapa. The portraits have been exhibited in the Scottish Parliament and thanks to human rights activist, Eréndira Sandoval Carrillo, my has work reached the parents of the missing students. The work has almost taken on a life of its own in Mexico and is frequently seen in the hands of the families at meetings and marches or decorating the Normalista college in Ayotzinapa, where the students were studying to become primary teachers. Recently I have made work in collaboration with with the families of miners who worked in a coal mine in northern Mexico, Pasta de Conchos, where 65 miners were killed in an underground explosion. Their bodies have never been recovered so the work is about naming them and remembering them.
I am making portraits and gathering the testimonies of the agricultural workers in the Sierra de Huelva, a place I know like the back of my hand, thanks to my horse, Chaparro. Cork oaks are the backdrop to my rides there so I have gradually become involved in gathering moving and still images of cork, cork oaks and the people who work in this slow burning, sustainable but precarious industry. More drawings here:
Closer to home, I have been involved in an oral history project “The Road to Drumleman” about the coal mine in Kintyre where my father worked as a young man. I made a film but want to continue to gather people’s stories about the Argyll Colliery. I have made a series of portraits of people associated with the mine and am currently leading a heritage/arts project in Kintyre. Here is the blog and you can view the drawings here:
I am interested in sustainable growing and food. I share an allotment, “Plot 16” with my husband. We also like to forage both in Scotland and in Spain.
My “bread and butter” work is facilitating community arts projects, educational work and graphic design. One of the most recent projects that I facilitated here in Scotland was A View From Here with Scottish Refugee Council, where I worked as Visual Arts Coordinator.