Bill BRANDT, Coal-searcher returning home, Jarrow Enlarge 1 /1


Germany 1904 – Great Britain 1983

  • France 1929, England from 1931

Coal-searcher returning home, Jarrow 1936 Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: 34.2 h x 29.3 w cm 34.2 h x 29.3 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1979
Accession No: NGA 79.2277

This image of an unemployed Durham miner – one in five miners was unemployed – came to represent the depressed north of England. Brandt commented that ‘my most successful picture of the series, probably because it was symbolical of this time of mass unemployment, was a loose-coal searcher in East Durham, going home in the evening. He was pushing a bicycle along a footpath through a desolate waste-land between Hebburn and Jarrow. Loaded on the crossbar was a sack of small coal, all that he had found after a day’s search on the slag-heaps’.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra