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on verso, signed by artist, lower right in graphite: Graham Smith; by artist, across verso: I was born into a family whose work, class and culture on the Smith side was rooted deep in the / heavy industry of iron making. My father, Albert Smith, spoke with pride of his forefathers, / iron stone miners from Rosedale in Yorkshire, a small settlement in the Cleveland hills. Three / generations of sons born from the Rosedale family followed their fathers into the ironworks at / Cargo Fleet and South Bank. When I was a young boy, the inevitability of life down the works / troubled me and despite expectation, the mould had to be broken. Middlesbrough was dominated / by heavy industry, it was a hard mould to break. / Towards the end of his working life, my father was part of a gang of men repairing Number Two / furnace at Clay Lane. He was working for a contractor who regarded safety as something that / got in the way of men doing their job. Working high on the outside of a furnace from scaffold / only two boards deep was hard for a big man with a beer belly, a man past his prime and / suffering a hangover at the start of most shifts. On dark cold mornings, or wet and windy days, / my father dreaded working high up on the outside of the furnace. Some days his hands were / too cold to hold a large spanner or heavy hammer, but he was a born grafter and worked / every double shift offered to him until the contract was finished. / Number Two furnace, repaired and relined with fire brick, was never commissioned. It stood / idle until all three furnaces were eventually demolished, ending more than one hundred and thirty / years of iron making in South Bank. / Graham Smith 11.12.2021; lower left: CLAY LANE FURNACES, SOUTH BANK, MIDDLESBROUGH 1981; bottom center: PRINT MADE BY GRAHAM SMITH 1984


(Augusta Edwards Fine Art, London); NGA purchase, 2022.

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