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Oliver Kilbourn

My Life as a Pitman    

‘A funny thing, once you’ve painted a picture you feel it’s part of your life, you know’, Group member Oliver Kilbourn once said.

His ‘My Life as a Pitman’, a long series of studies of every aspect of his early years down the pit, of modernisations and changes, through to his years in the Group, is a masterpiece of ‘seeing through doing’, Lyon’s early vision of pursuing one’s own talents. Dating from the 1970s, it shows not only the life he led but the way the precepts laid down in 1934 held good. Unlike ordinary bygones, domestic relics and industrial exhibits, paintings remain more or less as they were when first completed.

Look at the Group’s paintings and imagine yourself in the Hut on a Monday night, imagine seeing the painting brought out, discussed, checked through for accuracy and, more important, true expression.

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