Paul Anthony Harford (1943-2016) trained at Byam Shaw School of Art in London in the late 1960s, before moving to Southend-on-Sea. At different times he lived there and in Weymouth, working variously as a schoolmaster, cleaner, bin man and hospital porter; while maintaining an enduring interest in art history. Virtually unknown until after his death, Harford amassed hundreds of meticulously articulated drawings over the course of his lifetime, almost entirely made in graphite on paper. Centred on lived experiences, Harford’s subject matters primarily encompass scenes drawn from his own life and surrounding environments of British seaside towns, ranging from the mundane and incidental to the absurd and surreal. Characterised by a distinct candour and critical observation, many of his works interrogate a prevailing mood of aspiration and decline in coastal towns and in everyday life, evocative of social realism. Scenes depicting seaside vistas, daily labour, addiction and sickness, oscillate between an offbeat humour, ambivalence and melancholia. His first solo exhibition, Other Voices, Other Rooms, was posthumously presented at Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, in 2018; with subsequent solo exhibitions at Sadie Coles HQ, London, in 2020 and 2018.