Chance brought McGuinness into mining. Conscripted as a Bevin Boy in 1944, he remained a miner until he was made redundant in 1983. Despite gaining success as an artist, with many sell-out exhibitions in the 1970s, he never felt secure enough to leave the mining industry.
Tall, bowed, hunched figures, strong colours and distorted lines make McGuinness’ work instantly recognisable. Finding it difficult to put his feelings into words, his paintings speak for him and reflect the mining community of Durham where he lived.