THE third spring exhibition of the late R.A. Gardham's work in the Golden Ball co-operative pub, in Bishophill, York, is on show until June 2.

Art, Coal, Land and People gathers work relating to Gardham's life in a West Yorkshire mining village in the 1980s. After eventful early years developing his art in London, the Scilly Isles and Wales, he returned to the village to live with his widowed mother, working as a builder’s labourer and reflecting in art and writing, the pulse of life, in a community riven by the events of the Miners' Strike and its repercussions.

However, he never exhibited his work, even though it added up to more than 2,000 artefacts, drawings and paintings by the time of his death in 2014. Two of his siblings are now mounting the series of "art and a pint" shows at the Golden Ball in the hope of making it known.

York Press:

Landscape and figurative painting, portraits and line drawings were his forte expressed in inks; Gardham knew of no other artist who used coloured inks as he did, so the work is considered to be unique in that respect.

On display are 38 framed pieces, 13 of them made in 1984, around A5 in size, from a batch of 256 coloured ink drawings found in Gardham's studio after his death. They are mostly portraits of people he knew; subtle, expressive and fine but powerful, emotive and raw, each character having strong individuality but showing human vulnerability, often enhanced by an evocative and strange setting.

York Press:

The 13 black ink drawings of A4 size from 1984-85, selected from a batch of 216 drawings, speak of the human condition and are subtly esoteric, demonstrating Gardham's inherent spirituality, influenced by his immersion in Sufism the 1960s.

Three of the nine A3-sized works are in colour and were selected from 621 executed between 1984 and 2007, showing local, cultural and religious icons within a mystical context.

Art, Coal, Land and People, by R.A.Gardham (1941-2014), can be seen in pub hours, weekdays, 5pm to 11pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 12 noon to 11pm; admission is free and all are welcome.