Sean Durkin has been inspired to paint in LS Lowry style after his father stole a Lowry painting in protest of art galleries not being open to suit working people !
In 1972, John Durkin stole the painting by renowned Manchester artist LS Lowry, depicting St Hilda’s Church and Middlesbrough’s old Town Hall – and then demanded the Mayor raffle his underpants for charity to secure the painting’s safe return. When he was arrested by police after the theft, he had a ransom letter calling for art galleries to be opened on Sundays “to allow the working man to get some culture”.
His son Sean, eight at the time, remembers the affair well – and is now a successful painter in his own right. He said: “I remember going downstairs one morning and on the mantelpiece there was this little painting depicting what looked to me like a big house, a church, and some ‘matchstick’ people scurrying around.