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I first started painting the Upper Hunter region a bit over two years ago when I was approached to do some work which addressed the issue of open-cut coal mining in the area. One mine in particular, Bickmore Mine, was being targeted because of its closeness to the Pages River and to horse studs. I spent time there, visited the studs, went up in a helicopter and was able to see the extent of the mining. I staged an exhibition at Michael Reid’s gallery in Murrurundi of work about the mining as well as the area in general. The mine was stopped – though my exhibition had no influence in that.
This painting has no reference to mining. It is more a sort of memory of my time in the area.
Noel McKenna, 2012