26.04.1995 - 12.05.1995
Pilgrim Street Fire Station, Newcastle upon Tyne
It is 30 years since the Chernobyl nuclear accident happened in the Soviet Union - 26 April 2016. The accident occurred at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine, close to the border with Belarus. Around 50 emergency workers were killed in the immediate aftermath, including the fire-fighters shown here, whose portraits adorned the roof of the then fire station on Pilgrim Street - 21 years ago.
"Natural History was premiered at Pilgrim Street Fire Station on the day of the ninth anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Large scanachromes (photographic reproductions on vinyl) of six individual 4.5 X 3 metre portraits were erected on a scaffolding structure measuring a total length of 18 metres.
The portraits were of the first six firefighters to have died containing the disaster at Chernobyl Nuclear power station. Soviet firefighters were allocated three minutes each by the authorities to physically clear radioactive debris from the powerstation. The protective clothing which they were issued with was insufficient to block out the effects of the radiation."