This pencil drawing is based on the woods opposite my childhood home, which I used to play in. Deeper into the woods was a coal mine, where my father (and a few of his brothers and his father before him) had been a collier, (the preferred name for a coal-miner at that time). An uncle of mine died down it at the age of 18. I once went down it myself, as a very little girl, with my father, and his workmates, on a benched rail-cart. When it became pitch black, and the air thin and dusty, I panicked, and they then brought me back out, laughing. I imagine I'd only gone some 30 yards or so, and not the miles that it felt like. They had just given me a little ride for fun, but to me it seemed deadly serious. As far as I was concerned, I'd nearly made it to the center of the earth. My mother was not happy when she found out about it. The contrast of the depths of the mine, in comparison to the jungle and lofty quality of the dense woods was something I can only now appreciate. The noise of leaves and birds and things that moved around unseen. It was such a pain having to grow up, and to stop building dens. The drawing has a slightly surreal quality to it, which is how I feel about my childhood spent in the woods.
2B Graphite pencil