How a food tin from the Miners’ Strike inspired Andy Wharhol-style EU artwork

Artist Andrew Parkin with his EU Referendum debate artwork at Gordons Butchers.
Artist Andrew Parkin with his EU Referendum debate artwork at Gordons Butchers.
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Politics and art have been mixed by a Wearside student who is hoping to stoke up the EU Referendum debate in his area.

Mature student Andrew Parkin has been inspired to create an Andy Warhol-inspired canvas of “EU stewed steak in gravy”.

Butcher Gordon Robson, left, and artist Andrew Parkin with his EU Referendum debate artwork.

Butcher Gordon Robson, left, and artist Andrew Parkin with his EU Referendum debate artwork.

Britain goes to the polls next Thursday to vote to decide whether to stay in or leave the European Union, with pundits suggesting the outcome is now too close to call.

Andrew, 54, is hoping to get the public talking more about their feelings on the issue ahead of polling day.

“I remembered back to the miners’ strike, as my dad and brothers worked down the mines, and we got the cans of steak from the EU to eat.

“I kept one of the cans and then when I started my course I learned about Andy Warhol and the tins of soup artwork he came up with.

I’d never done any art before in my life, but why can’t Andy Parkin be the new Andy Warhol?

Andrew Parkin

“Now I’ve made a few installations where people can come and have a look and let us know what their opinions are on the referendum.”

The artwork is currently on display in Andrew’s nephew Gordon Robson’s butchers shop in East Boldon, as well as Sunderland’s Pop Recs music store.

Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans print was created by the American artist in 1962, helping to usher in an era of pop culture art in his home country.

Andrew, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a number of years ago, is currently doing a degree in Fine Art at Sunderland University.

“The idea has helped me to start creating my own art,” added Andrew, who lives in Seaburn.

“I’d never done any art before in my life, but why can’t Andy Parkin be the new Andy Warhol?

“Like a lot of people I’ll be voting in the Referendum and I think I’ll be voting to come out.

“It’s mainly because I think we are being dictated to by Europe in too many ways.

“But I want people to have their say on things and hopefully I can be famous for my work.”