Sunday, 17 July 2011

Paul Biddle and his Archipelago of Fantasy Islands

Cloudy Island
Handy Island

Many people have asked the same question: Do Paul Biddles' Fantasy Islands actually exist? The simple answer is No, but here are some comments we have received in the past.

Foot and Mouth Island

Christopher Colombus: I could never make up my mind if it was Nor Nor East or just plain Nor Nor Nor.    21st June, 1498.

Ferdinand Magellan : Whilst completing my first Circumnavigation of the World I happened upon a Strait called Biddle but it led to Nowhere. 1520


Nose Island

 Francis Drake : I had always heard the best and most capacious ruffs were made in the Strait of Biddle but I never quite found them.  1590

 Marco Polo : When I was exploring Asia, a dear friend of mine called Kublai Khan mentioned the existence of such an Archipelago but he found it very difficult to pronounce the word Biddle. 1290

Editors Note: It seems highly improbable that these comments bare any semblance of truth.
Although the light-house perched on top of
the fabled Nose Island bares a striking resemblance to Smeatons Tower in Plymouth.

Contarini Cauliflower Island

Mr Fred Conquest and Jemima the Goose Island

This island is also strictly speaking not an island but a Ship of the Line
in the Fantasy Island Navy and lets face it Mr Conquest and the Good Jemima
sail a pretty ship.

Ear Island
Marvel at the woman with the megaphone and ice skates on her feet.
Whilst looking at the woman with the megaphone through a telescope an ancient mariner made the observation that she looked remarkably similar to the woman who appears in the photograph
Snail Sex at the following link 

The Ship of the Desert Sails Forth Island

Desdemoaner and the Ice Monkey Island

The shady looking character in ice skates above is in fact
the self-styled Mr Smith of Snail Sex fame
O'Grady Says Island

Possibly the first Wind Farm situated on a Fantasy Island in the known World

Isle of No Egrets
Nose Island on Holiday
Handy Footy Island

 You can see more of Paul Biddles photographs at

Editors Note : We have had countless people enquiring
about Holidays to The Fantasy Island Archipelago.
Due to ecological reasons tourism is strictly limited
and is now fully booked until the year 2020. 

Thursday, 7 July 2011

"Who are the Butterfly Boys?" Part 1

Over the years many people have asked Paul Biddle "Who are the Butterfly Boys?"

The Butterfly Boys

Well the simple answer is Urchin Boy and his brother the Man with a Fish on his head.

Paul Biddle first met the identical twins at an impromptu party in 1875 long before either of them were born. Just like any normal person he was overcome with a desperate urge to stick things on their heads. They were in effect a blank canvas, a phrenologists delight.

Dog Biscuit Mantle
Urchin Boy
He approached them with the idea of making a portrait. Paul Biddle  confesses that he made no mention of his desire to place objet on their heads. What follows is in Biddles' own words.

"Myself and my Muse and Missus arrived at their residence. Only one of the twins agreed to sit for a portrait. The other - lets call him Twin B positively refused and hid upstairs in a room which can only be described as being filled with the dust gathered from ancient Grand Pianos. 

We busied ourselves setting up lights and the camera - mere devices for capturing likenesses. Meanwhile I was desperately trying to look as though I knew what I was doing but in truth I had a pocketful of sea urchin shells which I was desperate to stick on the models' bald head. I came clean and told him of my intentions - UrchinBoy responded with the beginnings of a quirky smile.

My Muse and I began to try to attach the said Sea Urchin shells to his head, a task easier said than done. We laboured for some time to no avail, as you have probably found out when trying this for yourselves at home. Sea Urchin shells resist being stuck to anything on Principle. After several hours we had to use a special Trade Secret to apply those pretty little shells to his head."

Many people - well a few - have cried -  Those Eyes   Those Eyes - Is it Picasso? A firm NO has always been my answer
The tattoo on his arm is not in fact a tattoo it is a real sea-horse.

After processing the film I made a black and white print in my darkroom  and took it into the studio. Whereupon I covered it in pieces of broken glass and used a spot of light here and there to bring the image to life and yes you are quite right the object bottom right is a dried and rather smelly Flying Fish.
Collectors of my prints will tell you there is a fly buzzing about the set.
As to the meaning behind these images I have always left it to the viewer to decide. Often they arrive at  much better
concepts than I could ever come up with."

The Magician's Lair

Postscript to the Post:

Yes, the Dog Biscuit Mantle is made by my Muse and Missus

and yes it is made from real dog biscuits

Rather apt we thought

EDITORS NOTE : Paul sometimes uses dates which have little or nothing to do with reality.