The Butcher

The Butcher

Mixed media on wood and letters of condolence and a coroner's report.

1620 x 1320 mm

collection of the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Mallorca

Sa Pobla

This is a painting based on a photograph of my grandfather, Arthur Clifford Pinder, a butcher from Hornsea in East Yorkshire.

In 1992 my paternal grandmother died in Hornsea, Yorkshire. She had been in a nursing home, bedridden, after a stroke, for a number of years, and so, on her death, she had practically no possessions.

A couple of years later my mother showed me a small, leather gladstone bag that had been given to her by the home. Inside were about seventy letters, all in envelopes and all dating from the 6th or 7th of January 1939. They were letters of condolence for the death of her husband, killed in a shooting accident on the morning of January 5th 1939. At the bottom of the bag was the coroner’s report on the death and the photograph that this painting was based on.

They were the only things she had kept.