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Prendergast was brought up near Caerphilly in South Wales where his father was a miner. Following his studies at Cardiff College of Art and the Slade School he moved to Bethesda in Gwynedd and there became fascinated by the nearby slate quarry and, in particular, the view into its pit from the edge of the man-made cliff. The artist wrote of this painting: ‘I first saw the quarry seventeen years ago in 1970. It impressed me because of its scale, ... from the bottom of the pit [it] looked like Breughel's Tower of Babel in reverse.’

July 2007