Tom McGuinness (1926-2006) was born in Witton Park, County Durham, where he entered work as a miner. He studied at Darlington School of Art for four nights a week but remained in mining. He was one of the artists at the Spennymoor Settlement, whose ‘Pitman Painter’ contemporaries included Norman Cornish. Tom McGuinness had his first solo exhibition in 1958 organised by Jack Reading but did not leave mining until 1983. He took up a number of commissions and residencies and his work is included in several major public galleries, including Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (Mima).