Harry Malkin
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Harry Malkin

Interview Audio with Harry Malkin


(42.44) Art is something I’d always fancied doing, always … I always drew, so that was another thing that led me to think, well, I’d started doing some drawings, some paintings, and selling little bits, you know, not enormous amounts of money but enough to think that it’s a pleasant pastime, it’s a lot lighter than humping bloody pieces of metal about, and it’s something I enjoy doing.  At school I could have gone on to art college.  I’d got all the qualifications for it that I needed but there was no money in it.

(50.57) I drew quite … quite a lot but it was nothing at all, it was scribbles, it was … people will say that I was always drawing, something I’d do naturally, but I’d use it in all sorts of ways, I suppose.  I’d use it technically to … if ever … well, most of the time you’d be down at the coal-face and you’d be thinking, “Well, we could do this better if we had such and such a thing” and you’d draw it out.  I mean, it’s about visualising something, I suppose

I started doing drawings of men at work, as it was.  I’d never actually drawn at work.  I still have the ability now to close my eyes and think about it and seeing an image, and I suppose to some extent when I go to exhibitions, when I see pictures, I can always imagine it again, so it’s, I suppose, it’s a knack I’ve got, I suppose.

Once I finished at the pit I … like I said previously, I seemed to have more and more memories of what it was like, and they came more and more easy and I started doing more and more drawings of it, and I started exhibiting more and more of them.

(1:01:27) The visual side of it, the mining side of it, still does come back into it purely because I find it a … sometimes it’s just a re-working an idea that I’ve done a load of times, I suppose, and sometimes you don’t know whether it’s the image that’s taking over or whether it’s the thought, the memory that’s taking over, or whether it’s purely that you’ve learnt another technique and that you want to develop it in a different way.