Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Pirate in a box! He could be yours!

Sometimes I find things. Bizarre things, discarded things, unwanted things.

They become part of my stash of interesting stuff until different bits come together as something new such as... tadaaa!....Pirate in a Box!

Pirate: found with broken leg in car park in Batley. Leg now mended. Lived beside large Buddha head in our garden until someone stole it, leaving just the lonely pirate, a bemused West Ham gnome and a big gap.

Turtle: found on Ilkley Moor

Miniature fish-embossed frying pans and other small fish items: from a small bag of Kitsch found on ebay.

Mango box: from my mango box hoard.

Paper fish stuck on box: enlargements from my postage stamp hoard.

Free-standing, moveable metal fish: hand-cut and etched by me many years ago. Found loitering about the house.

No mangoes, pirates or turtles were harmed in the making of this artwork. For the pedantic amongst you, the mangoes were eaten, but a long time before I ever started thinking about putting this pirate in their box.

This Pirate in a Box could be yours! My mad sister Jo and her equally mad husband Rob are having a 'Bring Your Own Art' Party on 24 Aug 2014.

I will be auctioning this off at the party and 20% of the proceeds will go to Macmillan Cancer Support. My friend Steve has already expressed a very strong interest in owning this much desired item. It may be his by the end of the day or it may be yours... 

If you're not going to be at the party and want to put in a bid before the day, just let me know! It will go to the highest bid at the end of the art party day at 4pm on 24 Aug 2014.

E-mail me at with your bid!

Approx size of box 25cm x 20cm x 7 cm

Monday, 4 August 2014

All that's left

I've recently started doing some collaborative work with photographer Simon Sugden who has a similar passion to me for abandoned and derelict places.

Taking his photographs as starting points, I'm working on a series of prints based on staircases in empty buildings. There's a feeling of somewhere leading up, leading down, not knowing what will be found. Stairs lead us somewhere, but we're not sure where. People have walked these stairs before us. Will anyone walk them again? Who was here? What happened?

This is the first photo that I started with. It's from some abandoned offices in an old building the centre of Bradford.

Initially I played around with repeating and flipping the stairs, multiplying and staggering them to create a confusion of up and down, in and out.

I wanted to combine the stairs image with text relating to the past life of the building but I've not been able to find out what the offices were used for.

Instead, I decided to use documents relating to the past of my own home and the people of its past. They too have come and gone, leaving behind their mark, but mostly unnoticed and unremembered.

I kept the script fairly lightly coloured so it didn't fight for attention with the spiralling of the stairs.

Much of the text is hidden so you notice the words but can't quite work out what it says. Like the people of the past to whom it refers. We get glimpses of their lives, but there's so much we can only guess about them. Just like the life of the old offices.

This is now available to buy in my Etsy shop along with some of my other screen prints & lino prints at

And you can see Simon Sugden's fabulous photography at