Ron Gittins (1939 – 2019) was an outsider/folk artist residing in Birkenhead, Merseyside.
Ron rented the first-floor flat within a large house in my hometown of Birkenhead. He turned the entire space around him into a living artwork; muralled ceilings, walls, floors, and most notably gigantic cement fireplace sculptures which I'm told Ron would causally cook his dinner in. A non-stop artist, Ron's place is covered in curios of everyday life that give you a hint of how he lived, mixed with marvelously odd and fascinating art pieces that give you a hint of how he thought.

Until his death in 2019, Ron's place remained more or less a secret to the outside world. It was a privilege to be allowed inside to photograph his flat.
Photograph of artist Ron Gittins living space. A large sculptural fireplace depicting a cow or bull with horns sits to the right of the image while left shows an unfinished painting and a paper mache bucket filled with paintbrushes
Paper mache legs and torso sit on a chair each in artist Ron Gittins living room. To the left a musical keyboard sits on its side against an old radio cabinet.
A large, handmade concrete fireplace which appears to depict a Roman inspired design
Detail of a Roman inspired fireplace built by hand by Birkenhead outsider artist Ron Grittins
Doorways inside Ron Grittins house showing painted mural Egyptian inspired walls. In the centre shows an admiral's outfit hanging on a coat hanger.
An extremely large hand made fireplace sculpture of a lion with huge white teeth can be seen positioned between a doorframe. Above the lion fireplace there are many paintings of people on the wall. Part of the ceiling can be seen which is also painted in a large mural.
The corner of Ron Gittins' living room showing how the room is wrapped in a Roman style artwork pattern of many individual illustrations. Above that shows a mural artwork on the ceiling
A set of false human teeth sit on top of an old newspaper, written on top of the newspaper is a headline that reads "Don't do as we did". To the right of the teeth is a book on the Spanish Armada
A paper mache sculpture of an oversized human baby sits on top of an old styled push pram. On the floor is a headless paper mache figure and in the background is a painting of a tree. Next to that is an old sewing machine.
A portrait of a woman's face sits on an easel in the corner of a red room. Outside the door is the view into Ron Grittins' corridor and a blurred view into another room where you can see a portrait of a man on the wall
A desk sits up against a wall. On the desk is a busy looking artist's work table showing many paintbrushes. Under the desk is a television with an old hi fi amp on top. On the wall is a hand painted portrait of an admiral, there is a large gold frame which has also been painted onto the wall which the admiral is within. To the left there is a hand made fireplace with a fish head moulded into it.
A ladder draped with a cloth is pressed up against a painted wall, perhaps suggesting how outsider artist Ron Grittins decoratively painted his ceilings
A large gold frame is physically painted onto the wall, inside it is a portrait of a woman with blue eyes, wearing a general's outfit. It's in the style of a Napoleonic portrait. Underneath, there is old household items such as a TV, VCR, old fruit boxes and a guitar.
The corner of a room in artist Ron Gittins' flat showing rubble of home made Roman helmets, scepters, armour and swords. On the wall is a Roman painting of a woman. To the left there is a an out of focus image of a large concrete fireplace made in the image of a bull or cow. Its mouth is wide open and you can see that this is a working fire place as there is a metal plate within it.
Between an out of focus doorway, a large hand made concrete fireplace in the image of a bull or cow can be seen. Its mouth is wide open and its white teeth are shown. Inside its mouth is a metal plate, suggesting the fireplace is a working fireplace.
Ron Gittins' bathroom where an underwater themed mural is painted on every wall. A shark, a stingray and a fish can be seen painted above a bath that is filled with cardboard sculptures.
The ceiling inside Ron Gittens' bathroom painted with a perspective of looking up, as if you are underwater. You can see the belly of a frog swimming and some dragonflies and other insects that have landed on the water.
A sofa with a colourful knitted check pattern throw on top. Behind it is a mural of water and a horse emerging. In the background there is a sculpture of some legs.
A close up image of paper mache sculpture of a woman. She has no legs and is sat on a wooden chair. She had large, naked breasts and her hand is placed almost seductively over her head.
A look up into the hallway of Ron Gittens' ground floor apartment, showing a crop of the Egyptian themed paintings on the wall. There is a continuous band marking the entire hallway containing hieroglyphic style artwork inspired by Ancient Egypt.
A sculpture of a head sits on a white plastic chair with metal legs. The sculpture resembles an Ancient Roman style. To the right of the image is a red sculptural head on a table.
A painting of what looks to be Prince Charles or another regal figure is on a canvas that has been muddied by what could be clay or concrete. Next to the painting is an unfinished shield and a tall wooden sign with the letter B on it.
A bull or cow head fireplace covers the entire wall of a living room. It has been hand made by the outsider artist Ron Gittens
The hallway, looking down to the floor. Ron Gittins has painted tiling patterns in red onto the wooden floorboards. On the walls there is an ancient Egyptian style painting showing a person with a bird head and a human figure holding hands.
A huge sculptural fireplace of a lion with its mouth wide open showing large white teeth is to the left of the image. In the centre of the image is a musical keyboard on its side propped up against an old radio. Behind it is a roman themed wall painting depicting a woman and two other characters
A portrait of the artist Ron Gittins' who's home the photograph is taken in sits on a wooden table that's littered with many books and documents. Behind the portrait is a wall that's painted in the style of ancient Egypt art.