Joe Scarborough is an entertainer in the best music hall tradition.
Born in Pitsmoor, Sheffield in 1938, the artist has created from his own experiences and background a wealth of everyday “real” images of the life and people of South Yorkshire.
The artist began work as a laboritory assistant at Batchelors, then became a face worker at the Thorpe Hessley colliery. He was inspired to paint by the contrast of the darkness of the mines by the lightness of the real world above the ground.
In 1968 disenchantment with the pits led to a title of Jack of all Trades. He was a labourer, municipal park gardener and a washer upper for some years, nuturing a dream to be a full-time painter. For years he pushed a hand cart, packed with paintings round all his local pubs selling what he could in almost folk-lore tradition. Becoming at times, like the charicters he went on to portray in later scenes. His paintings were popular and sold, sometimes for as much as £10 – an encouragement that led to his life-long dream being realised . His first one-man show lasted for two years at the Attic Cafe near Sheffield’s main bus station. One-man and mixed exhibitions followed which took the everyday scenes of Yorkshire life from Sheffield to Rotherham to London to San Fransisco to Chicago and back of course to his first love, Sheffield.
Scarborough paintings now appear in several major collections and numerous works have been imprinted. The images, the humor , the friendships, the story telling is still the same.
His largest work dominates the entrance to the Odean Cinema in Sheffield – a mural depicting the history of Sheffield.
The vibrant colours compete with action packed visual naratives of the subjects and scenes portrayed in all Scarborough paintings.
A popular local figure whose reputation as an artist continues to increase – wherever there is a story to tell, Joe Scarbourgh will have his brush ready……