00.Grandma Walton's yard

Paddy Hartley

PADDY HARTLEY is AN ARTIST FROM DEWSBURY, WEST YORKSHIRE, EXILED IN LONDON SINCE 2002 AND WHOSE STUDIO is BASed In the dental laboratory of long time collaborator, biomaterial scientist Dr Ian Thompson AT KING’S COLLEGE LONDON. Trained in Ceramics, his chosen media ranges from digital embroidery, assemblage and most recently, lambs heart tissue for his Papaver Rhoeas pathological poppy sculptures currently touring London and the UK. His work is collected by institutions including the Wellcome Collection, Museum of Arts and Design New York and the Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Norway. In parallel to his arts practice, he also operates under his birth name Patrick Ian Hartley for his fashion artefact design practice. Specialising in sculptural pvc neckwear his work has been features in numerous fashion publications and has designed for Lady Gaga, Noomi Rapace, Elizabeth Banks and shot by photographers including Nick Knight, Tim Walker and Rankin.

Paddy’s new sculpture ‘Papaver Rhoeas’ has recently shown at venues across London (3rd – 29th November 2015). Curated by Niamh White  and supported by the Wellcome Trust , the sculpture will tour the UK thoughout 2016. For information on the work and venues visit

Art website:

Fashion website:

Joh Bates Studio_PapaverRhoeas @ AlexanderFlemingLaboratoryMuseum1

Papaver Rhoeas @ Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum

Joh Bates Studio_03. Florence IMG_4826 as Smart Object-1

Papaver rhoeas @ The Florence Nightingale Museum


Papaver Rhoeas – 3

Joh Bates Studio_PapaverRhoeas4

Papaver Rhoeas – 4


This was less of a garden, more a yard. My Grandma and Granddad Walton’s house was the only house at the end of an enclosed stone alley on Huddersfield Road in Ravensthorpe. In the yard was an outside loo in which the light never worked and the brickwork was full of spiders. The water in the loo froze over in Winter so you’d have to take a boiling kettle out with you to make a flush. There was a garage in the yard owned by the electrical shop next door on the high street where the owner would store washing machines. Behind the garage was a small patch of earth where Granddad planted a tree and a bush. The tree became my favourite climbing tree.NEXT TO THE GARAGE GRANDDAD WALTON BUILT A KIND OF RAISED POND COVERED OVER WITH CHICKEN WIRE WHICH WAS PLACED THERE TO STOP ME FALLING AND AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, TO STOP THE LOCAL CATS GRABBING THE FISH IN THE POND. . Next to the front door was an iron gate leading down to the cellar. That cellar always used to scare me a bit and it was only in my adult years that I learned it led to a network of tunnels. I still think about that yard and that house. I dream about that space very often and feel kind of haunted by it.

01. Grandad Walton's raised pond

Grandma and Granddad Walton’s Yard, Ravensthorpe

02. My climbing tree in Grandma Grandad Waltons yard

My favourite climbing tree in Grandma and Granddad Walton’s yard.


That tree I used to climb in my Granddad’s yard. I loved that tree but only dare climb as high as you see in the picture. Im still terrified of heights. I was heartbroken when the tree was cut down because it was planted in shallow earth. As a naive first year student living in Cardiff in 1990, I remember being told that the best way to deter burglars was to load your indoor window ledges with cacti. Of course I was never burgled and injured only myself with my collection, but thats when I began to love the prickly little fellows and more specifically succulents, preferably without the prickles. Saying that, Ive never met a succulent I didn’t like! Top 3?

Pseudolithos migiurtinus seedlings because they look like alien brains, or balls depending on your personal preference

Faucaria felina or ‘cats jaws’. (those of you know me know why)

Pleiospilos nelii, because he is just the rudest of all succulents, sticking his tongue out like that!

and my absolute favourite plant?

My Mum and Dad used to go to the garden centre every Sunday when we moved into our own house in Ravensthorpe. It was the first time they had a proper garden so grew lettuce  and built a rockery that had big chunks of quartz in it. One sunday they returned from the garden centre with a few houseplants including a Mimosa Pudica. I couldnt believe my eyes when I touched its leaves and they gently closed. Im still amazed by that plant. Actually, I must get one.


The garden is attached to a back to back terrace in Walthamstow and is entirely a creation of my housemate. Its a really interesting mix but mostly we grow cats. Ours, and most of the neighbours. All the gardens back onto one another so its a really safe space and great playground for the felines.

The Garden (pref)

Our garden, Walthamstow, East London


Im going to be very very specific. Autumn, late afternoon early evening, 1987. The air is fresh and a little damp and overcast, its getting misty as the streetlights come on and Im stood at the tight bend in the River Calder at Fir Cottage. Huddersfield Road skirts the edge of the river and on the opposite bank its mainly grass and a few trees. Looking from right to left I can see the road bridge the river passes under and arcs towards me away to the left where it splits into the canal to the left and the weir over which the river spills. The noise of the water on the weir is constant and I can taste the river in the air. I loved it there. It was my time of year and spent a lot of time there figuring things out.


A garden attached to a small house of my own with lots of tall grass you need to wade through to get to the allotment at the back.  Somewhere quiet, relatively free of humans.

Joh Bates Studio_Deep tissue iron and copper stained (pre-assembly detail). Papaver Rhoeas. Paddy Hartley.jpg.jpg

Papaver Rhoeas – Deep tissue iron and copper stained (pre-assembly detail)

05. Deep tissue iron and copper stained stained (pre-assembly). Papaver Rhoeas. Paddy Hartley

Papaver Rhoeas – 05. Deep tissue iron and copper stained stained (pre-assembly)

PapaverRhoeas @ SirJohnSoanesMuseum

Papaver Rhoeas @ Sir John Soanes Museum

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