For 55-year-old tradesman Allan Butt tiling is more than just a day job, he could be about to launch himself into a professional career as a full-time artist.
Away from decorating kitchen and bathroom walls for his customers, Allan, of Birstall, dedicates his time to creating huge mosaics in a garage in his garden.
The hobby has grown into a creative project, known as Icon Mosaics, in collaboration with fellow art aficionado, Rita Gav, a single mum from Batley, and their dedication has paid off - by securing a first public exhibition of their work in Liverpool next month.
Their collection of intricately detailed mosaics stands at 30 works of art. Each mosaic consists of about 2,000 pieces of tile and portrays a celebrity figure, either from the world of stage, screen or sport such as footballers Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney, music icons Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix, and movie stars Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando.
Dewsbury-born Allan has been running his own business, either side of a stint in the music industry, managing Yorkshire-based bands such as Vanishing Point.
“I just started making mosaics of things I really enjoyed, from The Beatles to Pink Floyd,” Allan said.
“Rita’s the same. She loves The Stone Roses.”
Rita, 42, fell in love with art at school and has returned to her passion having once delayed going to art college to take secretarial qualifications.
The mosaics take up to 80 hours to complete and after years of hard work, Allan and Rita are ready to unveil their creations at independent art gallery and music venue, View Two Gallery in Liverpool. Their exhibition, Icons of Stage, Screen and Stadium, runs from Friday 5 October to Saturday 2 November.
Gallery owner Professor Ken Martin said: “I’m convinced once people see the artistic quality of these works, they will be in demand.”