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Published: 07 August 2015

By Andy Ross

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John Craske

A couple of weeks ago a friend told me about John Craske, a fisherman who turned to painting and embroidery when he became ill. 

John Craske John CraskeJohn was from Norfolk and was a famous figure in his lifetime but has since fallen into obscurity until now. We bought a new book for the library, Threads, the delicate life of John Craske, and I am currently enjoying it thoroughly. The author, Julia Blackburn, is taking me on a journey into strange byways and fascinating highways, meeting interesting people and getting to know the life of this talented man through the eyes of others. 

John's story reminds me of The Gentle Shetlander, Adam Christie. Like John, Adam was ill and spent his days in Sunnyside Hospital with a diagnosis of depression. He painted, wrote poetry and created heads and figures out of stone using a nail and a file, and it was serendipitous that, on a visit to the airport last week, I managed to catch the exhibition at the Cunningsburgh History Group's buildings. There is a small and poignant memorial plaque to Adam too.