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This was painted in Sussex early in 1955 and is one of three paintings Middleditch made at about the same time showing a dead chicken caught in a flooded stream. In 1954 he had first painted water, which was to become a recurrent image, with two powerful paintings of Sheffield Weir, one of which is in the Tate Gallery's collection. These, it has been suggested, concern death and drowning and this theme may have been continued into the next year when Middleditch painted images of dead birds in water.

August 2004