The Last Salute

The Last Salute is an original graphic art work, digitally hand drawn, and beautifully printed on a complementary photographic stock that really enhances the retro-future aesthetic.

Newcastle upon Tyne, where I live, is famous for its association with magpies; and I personally would encounter many of these beautiful birds on my daily walk into work.

I wanted to create an image which celebrated this iconic bird, and this piece started as a simple drawing of a magpie. Never one to leave things alone, I developed the idea that this magpie should be perched on something unusual. I’m a huge science-fiction fan so an astronaut’s skull inside a helmet seemed suitably distinct and unusual – and this tied in thematically with the magpie’s association with bad luck.

In the UK the magpie is often associated with superstition. It is thought to be unlucky to see a lone magpie and there are a number of beliefs about what you should do to prevent bad luck. People will salute or wave to a single magpie and say “Good morning Mr Magpie. How is your lady wife today?” By acknowledging the magpie in this way you are showing him respect in the hope that he will not pass bad fortune on to you. By referring to the magpie’s wife you are also implying that there are two magpies, which bring joy rather than sorrow according to the popular rhyme. In Scotland a single magpie seen near the window of a house is a sign of impending death.

This astronaut clearly didn’t salute the magpie. Just don’t ask me why the magpie is also wearing an astronaut‘s helmet…

This limited edition artwork is produced as a C-Type (Chromagenic) print on Kodak Metallic photo paper, which really makes the colours luminous, reflective, metallic and eye catching. It’s beautifully retro-futuristic.

Exhibited at:
The Town Mouse Ale House – Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. 2018-
The Summer ExhibitionNo. 42 gallery, Bishop Auckland, UK. 2018
Bird’s the Word exhibitionArch Sixteen Café, Gateshead, UK. 2018




  • Limited edition of 50 numbered prints
  • Includes Certificate of Authenticity
  • Discreetly numbered on print side. Numbered and signed on the reverse side
  • C-Type print on Kodak Metallic 242gsm acid-free photo paper
  • Print size: 12 inch x 16 inch, edge to edge
  • Please note that the frame is not included. Picture mount included on A3 Mounted Print option only

UK customers
1. 12×16 inch print
You will receive an unmounted (loose) print at your chosen size. Prints are carefully rolled in PH neutral paper and packaged in a sturdy poster tube along with your Certificate of Authenticity.

2. Mounted Print (UK only)
You will receive an 12×16 inch print, presented in a 16×20 inch white window mount; with archival backing board and Certificate of Authenticity. Your mounted print is ready to display in a 16×20 inch frame.

International customers
Unfortunately, international shipping costs for mounted prints are often equivalent to half the cost of the print itself.

To minimise this expense for my international customers, you will receive an unmounted (loose) print carefully rolled in PH neutral paper and packaged in a sturdy poster tube along with your Certificate of Authenticity.

Your local frame store will be able to help with a suitable mount and frame to suit your living space.