The Contemporary Durham Miners’ Banner: A Unique Expression for Post-Industrial Communities?

Raeside-Elliott, Fiona (2020) The Contemporary Durham Miners’ Banner: A Unique Expression for Post-Industrial Communities? Journal of Textile Design and Research Practice, 8 (2). pp. 143-171. ISSN 2051-1787

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The increasing display and exhibition of historic miners’ banner acts as a catalyst in creating an appreciation of the value of these relics. New banners, commissioned by a community to replace their damaged or ‘retired’ historic banner, are being paraded at the Durham Miners’ Gala, which enjoys greater attendance now than in the 1970s, when pits were still fully operational. Walter Benjamin proposes that a piece of art in its original and intended location possesses an ‘aura’, and therefore this study asks whether these new miners’ banners can possibly possess the ‘aura’ of their historic counterparts. As ‘living objects’, Grayson Perry speaks of the banners paraded at the Durham Miners’ Gala in spiritual terms and draws parallels with the parading of treasured artworks in Medieval Florence.

But how does a community represent its unique identity through the artwork of its banner? By interviewing artists within contemporary practices in Durham (North East England) and a fabric conservator with a speciality in banners, the historic and contemporary Durham Miners’ banners have been explored in relation to their relevance for new communities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Miners’ banner, post-industrial, community, identity, representation
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2020 15:56
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2022 03:30

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