AN exhibition will launch next week commemorating North-East mining artist Norman Cornish.

The County Durham mining community that provided a lifetime of inspiration for the pitman painter will sit at the heart of the exhibition commemorating his centenary year.

The late Mr Cornish lived all his life in Spennymoor and now generations of the former mining town have come together to co-curate an exhibition of his work at the Mining Art Gallery, in Bishop Auckland.

Titled, Norman Cornish – A Slice of Life, the exhibition is part of a county-wide celebration marking 100 years since the artist’s birth and will open on Saturday, April 6.

The pit road he walked every day to work in the mines, children playing in the street and men leaning companionably at the bar all feature in his work.

Residents of Spennymoor have joined Mr Cornish’s children, John and Ann in choosing some of their favourite Norman Cornish artworks to be displayed at the Mining Art Gallery.

Angela Thomas, curator at the gallery, which is part of The Auckland Project also worked with Spennymoor Settlement Sketching Club, Rosa Street Primary School and Tudhoe and Spennymoor Local History Society to select works to be part of the commemorative exhibition.

She said: “Norman Cornish is one of the most enduringly popular mining artists in the country and to celebrate his centenary we wanted to focus on his home town of Spennymoor.

“That is where it all began and where he found new inspiration every day. It has been fantastic to work with a range of generations and people from all across the community to explore how Norman’s legacy lives on."