Christopher Mear is an English photographer who studied at Staffordshire University (Foundation Degree in Arts, 2011). His first book, Just Passing By, was published by Snibston Discovery Museum in 2014 who also organised his first solo exhibition, entitled ‘Disintegrating Histories’, a year earlier (2013). Mear was the recipient of the Free Range Art Award in 2010.
The final pit to close in Leicestershire was Bagworth in ’91. I would have been almost 12 months old. Coal mining was one of this Country’s most significant industries. It built communities and then supported them through thick and thin, through peace and war. The coalfield of Leicestershire was no different, it was central to the areas economy and communities for centuries. In 2008 I began photographing the area two decades after Bagworth shut-up-shop and the ‘black gold’ era came to an end.
In 2014 I met the author of the Facebook page Coalville Photographed. His name is Graham Ellis. Over the course of the following two years I made a series of short films and a collection of photographs, observing him as he moved through the post-industrial landscape that we both, coincidentally, call home.
UKYA City Takeover: Nottingham 2019