Today's Object of the Week is a still photograph taken from a powerful film about a bitter industrial dispute.

A series of compelling images and a landmark film to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1984 Miners’ Strike will form the centrepiece of a North East exhibition on the momentous event.

The strike had - and still has - a profound impact on the North East — and now the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (NGCA), in Sunderland, is to screen ‘The Battle of Orgreave’, Mike Figgis's film of Jeremy Deller's re-enactment.

The violent confrontation between police and miners outside the coking plant at Orgreave in South Yorkshire was one of the crucial episodes in the 1984 Miners' Strike.

The Northern Echo: ‘The Battle of Orgreave’, Mike Figgis' film of Jeremy Deller's re-enactment.  The violent

Made 17 years later in the same village, ‘The Battle of Orgreave’ centres on a re-enactment of the brutal confrontation made with the participation of many relatives of former miners as well as re-enactment specialists. Mike Figgis's film combines footage of the day’s event with interviews with several key protagonists.

The film includes:

  • Mac McLoughlin, a former miner and serving policeman on the field in 1984, reveals details about the build-up within the police force prior to the stand-off;
  • David Douglass (National Union of Mineworkers, Branch Secretary for Hatfield Main Colliery and Mining Historian) talks about the meaning of the confrontation in relation to the trade union movement;
  • Stephanie Gregory (Women’s Support Group and former chair of the Rotherham Miners Support Group) reminisces about the effects on family life;
  • Tony Benn (MP for Chesterfield between 1984-2001) talks about the media's role in covering up the truth about the strike in 1984.

The Northern Echo: Another still from the film, which combines footage of the day’s event with interviews with several key protagonistsAnother still from the film, which combines footage of the day’s event with interviews with several key protagonists (Image: Jeremy Deller, The Battle of Orgreave, 2001)

On display alongside ‘The Battle of Orgreave’ is a selection of photographs taken during the 1984 North East miners’ strike including photos of pickets at Monkwearmouth and Easington collieries, marches and demonstrations in Sunderland and everyday family life.

Jon Weston, curator of NCGA, said: “We are delighted to screen ‘The Battle of Orgreave’, a film by Mike Figgis documenting the ground-breaking contemporary artwork by Jeremy Deller.

"The film offers honest unfiltered oral accounts of the infamous battle alongside footage from Deller’s re-enactment.

“Opening on the same date as the original violent confrontation 40 years ago, industrial conflict has defined 2023 as living conditions continued to be squeezed for millions and concerns over pay and job security took centre stage again.

"Less than a mile away from the National Glass Centre sits the former site of Monkwearmouth colliery - once a major employer, the last coal mine to close in the County Durham Coalfield in December 1993 and now home to the Stadium of Light, the football ground of Sunderland AFC.”

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Commissioned by Artangel and Channel 4 ‘The Battle of Orgreave’ is part of The Artangel Collection, an initiative to bring outstanding film and video works, commissioned and produced by Artangel, to galleries and museums across the UK.

The Artangel Collection has been developed in partnership with Tate, is generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Foyle Foundation and uses public funding from Arts Council England.

  • The exhibition will be at NGCA’s Collection Space from June 18 to November 3.