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In 1944 Herman moved to the Welsh mining village of Ystradgynlais and took as his central theme the life of the miners and of the village community. In a text written in 1946 he described his responses to the miners he drew and painted obsessively in these years: 'although at first sight like other workers, the miner is more impressive and singular. Sometimes I thought of old Egyptian carvings walking between sky and earth, or dark rocks fashioned into glorious human shapes, or heavy logs in which a primitive hand has tried to synthesise the pride of human labour and the calm force which promises to guard its dignity.'

August 2004