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Fool's Paradise.
This exhibition pays homage to an extraordinary collector and shrewd observer of the human condition: Les Oakes. A truly eccentric Englishman, Les collected objects all his life. When Les and his wife moved to Staffordshire in 1965 they started the buildings at Hales View Farm which contain his collections. Whilst farming cows and sheep he continued to collect everything, although he had a particular passion for horse drawn carriages. Les 'curated' his objects into tableaux and themes in a peculiarly personal fashion. We were privileged and fortunate to get Les's blessing to spend time photographing his amazing collections – he had a great suspicion of "the media" and had never allowed photography of his "Sheds". We hope that you enjoy the images and that they may evoke in you the same range of emotions and memories that they did for us. Les named his huge collection of found and acquired objects "Fool's Paradise." Sadly Les died at the age of 62 in a tragic car accident returning from an auction in 2000 and his collections have been broken up and sold.