Artist pays tribute to miners

Christchurch artist Lisa Wisse has gifted to the West Coast community a painting paying tribute to the 29 men who died in Pike River coal mine.

Wisse, who last month had a painting gifted to United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said she wanted her painting to be hung publicly as a visual memorial to the tragedy, so visitors to Greymouth could pay their respects.

The men have been given up for dead after a series of explosions rocked the mine since November 19.

"I have used the symbolic form of a strong, weathered mature tree, silhouetted against the early dawn light to represent your strong fathers, sons and husbands who left early to work deep in the earth on November 19," Wisse said in a note attached to the painting.

The painting also depicts 29 words mentioned by Pike River Coal chief executive Peter Whittall and Greymouth mayor Tony Kokshoorn to give "strength and solace" to the families of the dead men.

The words include confusion, terror, pain, bravery and solidarity.

Wisse is known for her modern depiction of New Zealand landscape.

- NZPA

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