Miners preparing for a shot, State Coal Mine Wonthaggi, Noel Counihan
  • Artist
    Noel Counihan
  • Born
    1913
  • Died
    1986
  • Title
    Miners preparing for a shot, State Coal Mine Wonthaggi
  • Date of Production
    1944
  • Medium
    oill on composition board
  • Dimensions
    469 x 630 mm
  • Credit Details
    Purchased in 1948

Noel Counihan

Miners preparing for a shot, State Coal Mine Wonthaggi

Originally known as a pencil portraitist and press cartoonist, Counihan, who trained at the National Gallery School in Melbourne, worked first in Victoria, then in New Zealand for a short time at the outbreak of the Second World War. Towards the end of the 40s the artist moved from Melbourne to the United Kingdom before embarking on travels in Europe.

One of Australia's best known social realist artists, and a committed member of the Communist Party, Counhihan felt strongly that art had a social purpose and could be used to expose social inequalities. Before painting this work Counihan spent time in a coal mine where he made sketches by lamplight at the coalface as he believed that if he wanted to convey accurately the conditions faced by the miners, he needed to experience them first.