“African Diamond”

Original Oil Painting

Oil On Canvas 

76cm X 52cm (84cm x 60cm including frame)


Because children are considered an easy source of cheap labour, they are regularly employed in the diamond mining industry. One survey of diamond miners in the Lunda Norte province of Angola found that 46% of miners were between the ages of 5 and 16.

For children trapped in the diamond mines, life is full of hardship. Children work long days, often six or seven days a week. Compared with adults, they are even more vulnerable to injuries and accidents. Physically challenging tasks such as digging with heavy shovels or carrying bags of gravel can leave them hurt or in pain. Because of their small size, children also may be asked to perform the most dangerous activities such as entering narrow mine shafts or descending into pits where landslides may claim their lives.

Many child miners do not attend school. As adults, these children often will have little choice but to continue working as miners. Child labour thereby condemns many children to a lifetime in the mines, robbing them as well as their countries of a brighter future.

I wanted to paint the face of the child in my normal realism style as this was the most important part of the painting. I painted the diamonds in the background and in the white squares I painted a running total of the number of child deaths in these mines. Ultimately the question is raised “Is the price worth it?” To me the answer is so obvious that to ask such a question is to insult all the children who work in these mines.  No the price is not worth it.

“African Diamond” is also available as a signed limited edition print, please see the “Racism and Colonialism” series on the limited edition print section of the website.

This painting is framed in a bespoke wooden frame, is ready to hang and will come with a signed Certificate Of Authenticity. 

The painting will be professionally packaged, tracked and insured during delivery and delivery is free.

If you have any questions about this artwork please contact James on 0044 7551616352 or by email james@jamesearleyartist.com

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