Oil on Canvas
100cm x 70cm
SOLD Private Collection UK
I met Mick in 2020 on a rainy day in Southampton. Mick was sat on a mobility scooter and the one thing that really hit me was his huge smile despite the gloomy conditions. Mick had found life hard after leaving the Navy of which he was very proud of. He had suffered with his health and I could see that not only because of the fact that he was on a mobility scooter but also because of the redness in his face.
The badges that Mick wore were so relevant to everything, relevant to his life and therefore relevant to the painting. He wore the poppy with pride together with his Royal Navy badge, he wore a badge that signified his health issues and his warmth and charisma were seen on his birthday badge. Yet despite all of this hope I could not help think of the thousands of war veterans who are homeless, who have no help and who struggle with mental illness sometimes as a result of their service. The flag loses its colour when you see the reality.