As part of this year’s Ilkley Literature Festival Fringe,

Kenneth Cox of Leeds Surrealist Group will present

an appreciation of our friend and comrade Anthony Earnshaw.

The presentation will include the screening of a short film,

Flick Knives and Forks, that captures Earnshaw’s creative

process and remarkable personality.

Commencing at 9:00pm on Friday, 12th October 2007

Ilkley Playhouse – Wildman Theatre


***admission to this event is free***


Mickey Has Chopped Off Dumbo’s Left Ear (1999)


Born in Ilkley in 1924, the same year as the publication of the first Manifesto of Surrealism, Anthony Earnshaw died in Saltburn-by-Sea in 2001, and is fondly remembered by his many friends. Most of his life was spent in Leeds, where, as a young factory worker, he discovered surrealism through books in the city’s Central Library. From starting to paint “strange” pictures, he eventually left the factory behind in his mid-life, to become an art lecturer and full-time practitioner. He was an extraordinary artist, perhaps best known for his boxed assemblages, but also painted and drew; he was an occasional writer and aphorist, producing several illustrated books, including the highly-original Musrum, co-written with his great friend, Eric Thacker. Those who knew Tony will recall his subversive and oblique wit, the humour that was leaning at every corner, waiting to deflate pretension and pomposity. Surrealism – together with anarchism and jazz – proved to be an abiding inspiration that brought him into contact with many kindred spirits, rebels and poets. As Earnshaw himself put it, “Surrealism for me was home. I was among friends at last, having been away in a foreign land all my life. The spell of it then cast remains a frisky imp haunting my life.”