George Hatton, one of my art teachers at Cranbrook school in Kent was a major influence on my visual and creative development. George first showed Eduardo Paolozzi’s ‘Lot’s of Pictures, Lot’s of Fun’ to my GCSE Art O’level class in 1977 as an example, not only of an artist whose work crossed the disciplines of printmaking, collage and sculpture, but as an example of an artist who made reference to the work of other artists. George and the then head of Cranbrook’s art department, John Ivemy were both tremendous artists in their own right and very passionate teachers who arranged frequent school visits to London galleries. They helped students contextualise their own creative practise within a very wide historical and cultural sphere. I was able to talk about Paolozzi’s work at my interview at Maidstone College of Art where I studied from 1979 – 1980 with several of my friends from Cranbrook, John Skinner, Jo Godbolt, Sue Coombs, before moving to Sheffield to study painting.
Lots of Pictures, Lots of Fun (or ‘Pop Art redefined’ as it is sometimes known) was created by Eduardo Paolozzi at Chris Pratter’s ‘Kelpra’ Studio in London in 1971. While appreciative of Pop developments, Lots of Pictures, Lots of Fun is a cynical statement by Poalozzi, with Andy Warhol (Soup can), Roy Lichtenstein (coarse ‘dotty’ half tone printing technique), Ed Ruscha (SPAM) and Jasper Johns (American Flag) all receiving jabs, along with the collective weight of the elephantine American dominance over Britain, where Pop may truly be said to have begun, with Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, Allen Jones, Joe Tilson, Peter Phillips and others including Eduardo Poalozzi himself, the Scottish born, eldest son of Italian immigrants.