Art memorial to commemorate Appin Mine disaster's 40th anniversary: Photos

Appin's worst mine disaster is set to be commemorated in artwork.

July 24 marks 40 years since an explosion of methane gas killed 14 miners at the Appin colliery.

South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal is looking to develop a public memorial to commemorate the disaster's 40th anniversary.

South32 invites contemporary artists to express their interest in the project.

The successful applicant, or applicants, will be granted $100,000 to create their work.

Illawarra Metallurgical Coal operations vice-president Jason Economidis said the artwork provided an opportunity for the community to show their continued respect for those miners who lost their lives.

"We intend for the artist to engage and connect with the community during this process, so their work provides authentic and personal recognition of the victims as well as their families and those in the community whose lives were changed by the disaster," he said.

The memorial piece will sit permanently at the Appin Sportsground, near the current memorial, which was built by the victims' colleagues in 1980.

Appin Historical Society president Denise Phillips said the commission would help create greater awareness of the memorial space at the sportsground.

"A new public art piece will enhance the landscape, while offering a place for people to come and reflect about the past," she said.

"We are hopeful the artwork will sit alongside the gum trees that were planted for each victim."

Curator Lubi Thomas will assist South32 with the selection process.

Ms Thomas said the artwork submission called for the artist's initial thinking and creative strategy.

"Style and materials are open, with consideration that this is for a permanent outdoor artwork," she said.

"Imagination is encouraged within a practical context."

Applications close on May 5.

The successful submission will be further developed and refined before a concept unveiling at the 40th anniversary memorial ceremony being held on July 24, 2019.

The final work will be completed and unveiled in July 2020.