Billy Childish

Billy Childish is an extraordinary and prolific artist. His paintings, woodcuts, poetry, writing and music share a common acerbic honesty that, rather than being nombrilistic, is deeply compelling and idiosyncratic. Childish's practice is informed by a tireless curiosity for themes as varied as war, the history and topography of his local and personal environment, social protest, hill walking and religious philosophy. Without the need for validation or approval from the art world, Childish has developed an authentic, independent and defiant position within culture that is admired by many worldwide. Born in 1959 in Chatham, Kent, Billy Childish left Secondary education at 16 an undiagnosed dyslexic. Refused an interview at the local art school, he entered the Naval Dockyard at Chatham as an apprentice stonemason. During the following six months (his only prolonged period of employment), he produced some six hundred drawings in 'the tea huts of hell.' On the basis of this work he was accepted into St Martin's School of Art to study painting where he refused to paint in the college, preferring to do so at home.. He was thus expelled for this and other rebelious behaviour before completing the course, but since then, and despite a continued resistance to and from orthodox bodies, he has created a huge and challenging body of work through his own highly personal art practice and philosophy of engagement with life. Find me at: Wish You Were Here, Southend Charabanc

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