While browsing in a local junk shop I came across a battered wooden box. I opened it to find an artist’s paintbox, full of the paints, brushes and palettes that it now contains.

I was immediately struck by the fact that it seemed so tangible a depiction of the effort the unknown artist had put into his work. This is one of those works that makes itself. The arrangement of the paint on the palettes reminded me of the work of Henri Matisse, after whom it’s named.

The glass top is sturdy enough to support a fairly hefty object, and the base is made from an old sewing box – sourced, interestingly enough, from the same junk shop at a later date.


height: 780 mm

width: 730 mm

depth: 430 mm

The arrangement of objects in the paint box is as faithful to the original as I could manage. It’s the excitement, the energy and the sheer exuberance of the contents that intrigued me.