DEREK Slater was born in 1948, the son of a coal miner, and worked in the coal industry for more than 25 years until the closure of the mines in the 1990s. This gave him his inspiration for portraying mining through art.

Having had an interest in painting, Derek did a degree in fine art at Sunderland University and worked as an art teacher until his recent retirement.

He is also concerned about the effect man has on the environment and the associated ecological problems that are affecting the planet and its inhabitants.

His exhibition at the Bob Abley Gallery, in Spennymoor Town Hall, features paintings of coal mining scenes in oil and ink as well as limited edition prints of these scenes. Alongside these mining scenes are oil paintings depicting ecological issues. Derek has a website where a selection of his work, both mining and ecological, can be viewed at

His work can be seen at the Bob Abley Gallery, Spennymoor Town Hall, from Saturday, September 5, until Saturday, October 10.

The gallery is open Monday to Friday, Noon to 4pm and Saturdays 10am to 2pm

The exhibition is free and all are welcome.