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Simon Pope: Primary Agents of a Social World

This event has finished. 21 June–7 September 2014 (National Museum Cardiff is open for most Bank Holidays, please check prior to your visit to ensure the museum will be open.)
Lump of coal from the museum collections
colwinston trust logo

In Primary Agents of a Social World artist Simon Pope has filmed a series of conversations and interactions centred on a large specimen of coal in the Museum’s collection.

The conversations took place between a wide range of individuals, who each brought different areas of knowledge and experience of coal to the project. They are filmed following the coal-seam on a bus journey from Blaenavon to Cardiff, stopping off at various points along the way to recruit new participants.

The resulting film documents the formation of a new ‘community’ by tracing connections between this specific coal specimen and those whose lives it may have transformed.

In this way the specimen – extracted from Deep Navigation colliery in 1955 – becomes a ‘social object’. It encourages an exploration of the way coal is transformed by humans, but more importantly the way human lives have been transformed by coal.

Primary Agents of a Social World was commissioned by Amgueddga Cymru – National Museum Wales and was supported by the Colwinston Charitable Trust. Additional support was provided by the Elephant Trust and an Arts Council Wales residency.