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Issue 100 — November 11, 2016

Chatham Town Welcomes Desperate Men: Studio visit with legendary artist Billy Childish

I first discovered Billy’s work when I was in my early teens. I was in a record store called All Ages that mainly sells punk records, In my early teens I was probably looking for a Bad Brains or Minor Threat 7 inch but instead came across Billy’s records. I was instantly curious as the section in the record store bins said “Billy Childish and his bands” and the section took up almost the entire shelf. I was instantly drawn to the artwork on all the covers, I’d never seen a punk band do a woodcut or painting for their record cover before. Ever since this experience I had I’ve been hooked on his work. Billy is an incredibly prolific artist, musician, poet, human.

His studio is in a large warehouse space in the Chatham dockyards. He paints there with his son Huddie. I felt instantly at ease in Billy’s studio, the atmosphere was just about painting and hanging out, without a lick of pretension. I can only hope that my photos convey the great atmosphere of his studio…

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