Tooled Up: Jody Barton, Thanks for the hammer / by John Hooper


Jody Barton’s take on the hammer he was sent, is an irreverent, original watercolour painting. The painting depicts the classic moment anyone who has tried a DIY project will know well, bashing your thumb as you try and hit a nail. 

“So, I like to be involved in things – and generally it’s a good thing. So when Mike Moloney, an old college friend of mine asked me to be in a show he was organising I said yes.

He sent me a hammer in the post – it went by airmail – meaning that at one point the hammer was doing about 500 miles an hour. Fast enough to hammer nails in. Resist any attempt to reference MC Hammer I thought. Or hitting nails on the head I thought. Or square pegs into round holes.

Then I got my thinking brush on and started to think… and think… and think… and then I painted this watercolour of a thumb. Thanks for the hammer!”

Jody Barton was born and raised in a derelict Medieval Theme Park. Since birth he’s been tortured by demons, a veritable St. Anthony for the modern day. His marker pen leaves a blackened trail over every surface, and visions assail him as the Moon rises high and hair sprouts on the pages of his notebooks. While drunk on Equus, a powerful spirit which has a Horse Embryo in the bottom of every bottle, he conducts experiments which recently saw him successfully turn supermarket ham back into a Living Pig. He’s now cured of the demons and living in Sunny California - so there won’t be any more drawings like these in the future. It is his last wish to have his ashes scattered in Chapelfield Shopping Centre, Norwich.