Yorkshire exhibition reinterprets work of Kes author

Kes author Barry Hines was inspired by the backdrop of the coal industry in the Barnsley he grew up in.

The installation of an exhibition of artwork celebrating the life and work of Kes author Barry Hines. Named Untameable, the exhibition highlights Hines' dogged determination over three decades to write about the changing personal and political landscapes of working-class life in South Yorkshire. Images displayed at the exhibition, produced by artists Patrick Murphy and Anton Want, together with an accompanying publication, visually explore and reinterpret these landscapes and key themes from his work. Picture: Chris Etchells

Now, artists inspired by his own writing have created a collection of work that will go on display in Sheffield today. The Untameable exhibition, pieced together with the help of academics at the University of Sheffield, highlights the author’s determination to write about changing personal and political landscapes of working-class life.

Hines’ work chronicled the social injustices he witnessed: from the failure of the education system and lack of opportunity found in A Kestrel for a Knave and the examination of land ownership in The Gamekeeper, to the effect that Thatcherism had on Sheffield in Looks and Smiles and the increasingly toxic climate of nuclear threat during the 1980s in Threads.

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Artwork by Patrick Murphy and Anton Want explores and reinterprets these landscapes and key themes from his work.

Barry Hines in 1970

Dr Dave Forrest from the University of Sheffield’s School of English, who has studied Hines’ work in detail, said: “The artworks contained within this exhibition and book re-animate the Barry Hines Archive we have here at the University, breathing life, colour and movement into pictures and words that might have once evoked mournful nostalgia. Now they burst with the energy of the here and now, reminding us that Hines is not just a writer from a bygone age.”