Creative Global Network for the Visual Arts

Sketchbook found in a scrap yard

So yesterday I got this email through the art site Axis from someone I’d never heard of before: they’d found a sketchbook, including a drawing of the actor Trevor Howard and an odd quote – “We dream of different things” – had I drawn these sketches?

So I replied no, “I'm sorry – it's certainly not mine: I've not made work on that theme. Happy hunting!”

But then I got a reply that it had my name in it and an address in Leeds. Oh, I had lived in Leeds for ten years – I knew lots of artists and students there – could they send some photos of the book; then I might have more of an idea and perhaps be able to identify it?

So they did: “Here some pics. The book was found in the boot of an old car in a scrap yard about eight years ago, only now have we thought about googling your name!”

And indeed it was mine – from 1986 – I’d completely forgotten about it. It included a little sketch of my daughter, then only a few months old, drawn in my brothers flat in Stepney Green. And, it seems, lots of porn – well I was young and randy then!

“The book was found in a scrap yard in Ferrybridge near Pontefract. We kept hold of the book because my husband thought the picture of Trevor Howard was fantastic and because our daughter is really interested in art we got it out to show her the different techniques used in art. It was her idea to google your name, never even thought of it before, she thought you might be a famous artist! Once thought about taking it to antiques roadshow but thats no good if your still alive and kicking!”

I’ve still no idea how the book got to be in a scrap yard.

So now they want me to sign the sketches so they can frame them. That sounds fine to me – those photos made my day!

Now if anyone comes across a black A4 hardbound notebook left in a phone box near the Hyde Park Cinema, Leeds, in around 1983 could they let me know? I was traumatised by that loss – I daren’t use a notebook for years after that.

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Comment by Mik Godley on February 12, 2010 at 1:06
What's it doing in California Marty? I wonder what kind of phone box that was to be able to teleport so far?

Google makes us all find-able, eh?

Thanks Marty :)
Comment by Marty McCutcheon on February 11, 2010 at 19:46
Yeah, Mik, I've got your black A4 hardbound notebook left in a phone box near the Hyde Park Cinema- what are you willing to pay to keep me quiet? Hehe. Seriously though, great story! Thanks for sharing. I'll bet the people at Google would like to hear it.
Well wishes to you and yours.
And yes, the Trevor Howard sketch is quite nice!


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