HARTFORD, Paul Anthony
Other Voices, Other Rooms
Paul Anthony Harford lived and made drawings in Southend-on-Sea and Weymouth, before passing away at the age of 73 in Leigh-on-Sea in 2016. Harford produced hundreds of meticulous large-scale drawings throughout his lifetime. His work delicately interrogates the everyday and commonplace against the backdrop of the British seaside.
He moved his young family to Southend-on-Sea after a chance advertisement for a seafront flat caught his attention. He secured a job cleaning windows in Southend’s High Street before eventually earning a position, riding the cream and green trains to clean the arcades at the end of the pier, where he witnessed the devastating fire of 1976.
Harford’s drawings are rooted in his lived experience and shed light on his unique viewpoint of the British seaside town. Often putting himself at the centre of the work, the drawings depict the seaside as a complex refuge, a site where addictive behaviours are acted out and the typically unseen realities of aspiration and decline are laid bare. [publisher's note]