Mabel Broadbear

Clutching her little bunch of picked flowers, she struggles fearfully to prevent the 64 strands of illness combining into a noose and pulling her down before she can properly explore the strange garden she has been left in by her parents.
Mabel Broadbear died in 1896 when she was eighteen at the Mendip hospital after suffering 64 epileptic seizures during the night. She had been left at the hospital by her parents the year before and was described as “simple and mischievous” in her records.
I hope she found even a little happiness in the garden.

Mabel Broadbear 1896

From a New Garden of Earthly Delights

The New Garden, oil on canvas, 16″ x 12″.

This painting developed into a view of the new post covid world we find ourselves in. Influenced in colour scheme and detail by the famous “Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch, it shows the new world occupied by a strange mixture of humanity and nature.


Nature has shaped us once again with consumate ease.


“The Virus in Cranworth Street” oil on canvas, 12″ x 16″. 2020

A response to the surreal effect the lockdown has had in the city. The virus is portrayed as a kind of jellyfish creature floating through the streets trailing its tentacles across those who are unfortunate enough to be in the street as it passes.

This vision of the corona virus was inspired by something I saw. Someone had washed a white ladies’ dress and had placed it on a coat hanger then hooked this onto a window which was opened out at a slant above the street below.

The way the thin material billowed out in the wind like a semi transparent bell reminded me of images I had seen of some jellyfish and the way it seemed to float above virtually empty streets inspired me to paint the picture.

I imagined the virus as some frightening relentless being advancing silently along the street brushing its tentacles over the unnoticing people it passes.

The people in the windows are all displaying a response to lockdown and are very pale. They are trapped in their homes. Those outside are risking themselves. Indeed the old woman with the walking stick is being touched by a very faintly depicted tentacle and now is now infectious and likely to be ill.

This is a bleak painting for a bleak time.

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