Miners Returning to Daylight, South Wales by Bill Brandt (1931-35)

The photograph titled “Miners Returning to Daylight, South Wales” was captured by artist Bill Brandt sometime between 1931 and 1935. It portrays a group of miners in an elevator cage, apparently being lifted from the depths of a mine back to the surface after a shift underground.

In the image, several miners can be seen closely grouped together inside the elevator cage used for transporting miners to and from the mining tunnels. They are dressed in work attire typical of the era for such labor-intensive work, including heavy fabrics and caps. The faces and clothes of the miners are marked by the grime and soot associated with coal mining, indicating their hard work in harsh conditions. Their expressions range from neutral to weary, suggesting fatigue after enduring the physical demands of their labor. The lighting in the photograph is stark, casting strong shadows and conveying a sense of the gritty and tough environment of coal mining. The composition of the image, with the miners enclosed within the metal framework of the elevator, emphasizes the confinement and possibly the camaraderie of the miners as they ascend towards the daylight.

Other Photographs from Bill Brandt

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