Janine Wiedel
Vulcan’s Forge

George's hammer, The Workshop, Smith's Drop Forge, Aston, Birmingham. 1977 © Janine Wiedel

Chainmaker working on Bending Machine, Griffin Woodhouse Cradley Heath, West Midlands. 1977 © Janine Wiedel

Pub-Midday break, Drop forge workers, Smith's Forgings, Aston, Birmingham. 1977 © Janine Wiedel

Smith's Drop Forge, Aston, Birmingham. 1977 © Janine Wiedel

Maker of small chains at Eliza Tinsley, Cradley Heath, Birmingham. 1977 © Janine Wiedel

The Chain Workshop at Griffin Woodhouse, Cradley Heath. 1977 © Janine Wiedel

Alan Hughes, Shaklemaker at Barzillai Hingley, Cradley Heath, The Black Country. 1977 © Janine Wiedel

Stoke-on-Trent, Winter. 1978 © Janine Wiedel

(Pictured) A set of twenty one silver gelatin vintage prints from Janine Wiedel’s major project Vulcan’s Forge.

Originally from the United States, Janine Wiedel moved to the UK in 1970 whilst working on her project about Irish Travellers. In 1977 she was awarded the West Midlands Arts bursary. As part of this commission she began photographing the heavy industries in the Midlands including, Chain-makers, Potteries, Coal mines and steel furnaces.

As well as covering these industrial scenes, she continued documenting the lives of workers outside of the work-place into bars and the surrounding residential areas. Vulcan’s Forge was exhibited at the Photographers Gallery in 1979, where along with the photographs, installation elements were included such as a raised platform mirroring that of a coal mine entry, as well as original chains and pottery taken from the workplaces documented.

Included within this collection are two book maquettes from further works by Janine Wiedel. One is from her book Irish Tinkers, and the other is from an unpublished series entitled ‘Women’.

The Martin Parr Foundation also houses an original Camerawork touring exhibition entitled ‘Classrooms’, which consists of laminated prints and signage from Wiedel’s work documenting schools around the UK.

Silver gelatin vintage

24.3 x 30.3 – 40.7 x 30.3


1973 – 1978

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