Child With Box On Head


Me and my friend Ste were so mad about the stuntman Evel Knievel that we used to emulate his jumps on our bikes. We only got about 50p/week spending money so we couldn't afford helmets. I remember us finding boxes about the size of our heads and using them as helmets. We cut a hole on the side of each box, the flap making it into a visor which flipped up and down. We did a lots of jumps off ramps on our Raleigh Grifter and Chopper bikes but the helmets kept swivelling around. When you landed the box tended to move and blind you and you wound up smashing into a wall or my dad's rose gardens.


I thought I would paint a kid with a box on their head. There was an almost silent girl at primary school (Joanna Seddon) who was so shy that she could barely talk. I worked in the school shop and remember the headmaster Mr Sloane telling me what to give her as she was too shy to ask (a packet of crisps and wafer = 8 pence total.) Her parents said she was so shy that when out in public she sometimes wore a box on her head and looked out at the world through a peephole (think she's a pole dancer nowadays.) I thought I would paint her and here is the result.


This was done on a small canvas and completed in about three hours. The family are about to cross a road and are walking away from the viewer. I struggle painting fingers so I pretty much put on blobs of flesh coloured paint and hope the viewers brain does the work and sees them as hands. I'd painted the pavement and road in acrylic paint and was going to redo both using oil paints but thought them adequate. The woman is wearing a skirt but women hardly wear skirts or dresses nowadays. Nearby every woman passing home seems to be wearing pants.

Do you know someone who would like this for a birthday present? Even Jeff Bezos hasn't got this original in his collection but you could for 18,644 and make Jeff jealous. It'll be dry in two weeks so I can post if off. The Post Office is next door to the hall where I attend Nude Badminton classes so I could post it then.