Jeremy DELLER (b.1966)
"The Battle of Orgreave", 2001
Limited edition photograph album
Containing nineteen C-type prints on Fujicolour paper
Published for the "Company of Angels" (Artangel Trust)
Signed by the artist and numbered 116/150
Within the original cardboard box
19.4 cm x 12.6 cm x 3 cm
Boxed set of nineteen C-type photographic prints on Fujicolour 'Professional Paper', held within the sleeves of a plastic album, entitled in white printed text to the front cover. From an edition of 150 albums, signed and numbered by the artist in blue marker to the clophon. All contained within the original stapled-card box, stamped to the lid with the title in black ink.
On 18 June 1984 a pivotal event took place in that year's 'Miners' Strike' (which had pitched Margaret Thatcher's Government against the National Union of Mineworkers, led by Arthur Scargill). On that day a violent clash took place at Orgreave Coking Works in South Yorkshire between pickets from the National Union of Mineworkers and the police (including several thousand officers in full riot gear and others mounted on horseback). The clash, which many have argued saw the police using unreasonable force against the protesters, became known as 'The Battle of Orgreave'.
The Artangel Trust is a London-based charitable arts organisation, founded in 1985, with the aim of helping to support the creation of ambitious artworks. As a way of thanking their donors (known as 'The Company of Angels') they have presented various mementos from projects which Artangel has sponsored. Between 15th-17th June 2001, the British artist Jeremy Deller staged a recreation of the Battle of Orgreave, on the original site of the mêlée, in the manner of an historical re-enactment. Approximately eight-hundred historical enthusiasts and two-hundred former miners, who had been part of the original conflict, were involved in the staging of the event. A film of the proceedings was made by the director Mike Figgis. To enable the realisation of Deller's project, the artist received funding from Artangel's "Company of Angels" and the donors received this limited-edition boxed set as a thank you memento.
Deller's "The Battle of Orgreave" is now widely considered to be one of the most important British conceptual artworks of the early 21st Century. It has been described by the curator Matthew Higgs as "one of the greatest works of public art staged in the U.K. (and probably anywhere)". This box set containing 19 photographs taken by Jeremy Deller during the course of the reenactment is one of the few artworks to have come from the project which is available to collectors.
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