Art of Sophie: Boyfriend of murdered Goth opens exhibition


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The Independent Culture

The artist boyfriend of a young woman murdered for her Goth appearance will exhibit his paintings to raise funds for an anti-hatred foundation set up in her name.

Sophie Lancaster, 20, was kicked to death in 2007 by teenagers after she begged them to stop beating her boyfriend Robert Maltby in a park in Bacup, Lancashire.

Mr Maltby, who was badly injured in the attack, has since produced 15 paintings partly inspired by Ms Lancaster. The canvasses, created with a combination of acrylic and inks, will go on show at Afflecks in Manchester to raise funds for the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

The exhibition ‘Crimson Iris: The Art of Sophie’ was so-named because “even though the iris is a symbol of faith, hope and wisdom, the unnatural colour symbolises violence, anger and danger."

The paintings, a range of still lifes and portraits, often featuring men and women dressed conservatively in suits, show influences of the German expressionist movement.

Mr Maltby says the exhibition tells a story: “The collection is a riddle, whereby each [painting] makes individual sense. But it is only when they are all together that the story is in some way visible.”
Three other teenagers - Joseph, 17, and Danny Hulme, 16, both of Whitworth, near Bacup, and Daniel Mallet, 17, of Bacup - were convicted of attacking Mr Maltby, but didn’t take part in the attack on Ms Lancaster.

‘Crimson Iris: The Art of Sophie’ opens to the public on the 3rd June and will be on show at Afflecks throughout June.