mik critchlow

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coal town

Mik Critchlow (b.1955) is a social documentary photographer based in the North East of England.  Mik has worked on long term community-based projects for over forty years.

On seeing an exhibition of paintings in 1977 by the ‘Pitmen Painters’- a group of Ashington men brought together in 1934 by the Workers Educational Association for Art Appreciation classes, he realised the value of art as a social document, the visual representation of everyday life, by one’s own knowledge and personal experiences.

In the same year, he began a long term photography project which documented his home town of Ashington, Northumberland. The son of a miner, he has worked within the community with a deep-rooted empathy for the townsfolk, documenting the area and it’s people during a rapid period of social and environmental change.

Work is held in public and private collections and has been exhibited & published widely including:  Side Gallery, Amber-Side Collection, Northumberland Archives, Brunel University, Museums Northumberland, Durham Art Gallery, Arts Council England, Laing Gallery, Northumberland Libraries , MCC Museum, Northern Arts, The British Journal of Photography, Amateur Photographer, Creative Camera, Museums Journal.

Recent exhibitions include: 'Forever Amber' - Laing Art Gallery 2014, 'The Share' - Northern Rock Gallery 2014 , 'About The North - Imagined Dialogues' - Side Gallery 2018,  'Pitmen Painters Unseen' - Woodhorn Museum 2018, 'WORK+WORKERS' - Side Gallery 2019.