British artist creates portraits of well-known East Midlanders - using old train tickets

Sir John Hurt CBE
Sir John Hurt CBE

A British artist has created portraits of a number of well-known East Midlanders - using old train tickets.

Ed Chapman, 47, created the portraits of famous faces from the region, including Sir David Attenborough, Sir Isaac Newton and Gary Lineker OBE using over 3,000 discarded tickets.

Dame Vivienne Westwood

Dame Vivienne Westwood

The 10 pieces took a whopping 280 hours to put together in total.

Other famous names created include fashion designer, Dame Vivienne Westwood, the late director and actor, Sir Richard Attenborough CBE and the late Sir John Hurt CBE, star of The Elephant Man.

East Midland Trains commissioned the artwork to raise awareness of their new mobile tickets – which can be stored on your smartphone and save on paper.

Portraits of Robin Hood and former-Doctor Who, Matt Smith were also created as part of the campaign - along with comedians Jennifer Saunders and Alan Carr.

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough

Ed said: “It was quite a surreal moment seeing all of these famous faces come to life in front of me from what originally started as a pile of discarded paper tickets.

“The colourings on train tickets are unique and distinct, but once I started playing around with some they actually lent themselves perfectly to mosaics.

“Not only are the images of famous faces from the East Midlands, but the craft materials themselves have each travelled on a different journey across the region, each with its own story from station to station.

“Hopefully it will inspire a few people to cut down on their paper ticket use – or even create their own artworks.”

Robin Hood

Robin Hood

The artist from Darwen, Lancashire has previously produced a portrait of Jimi Hendrix made entirely from guitar picks, a mosaic of David Beckham from old pennies and even recreated tennis-star Andy Murray in carpet stains.

Jake Kelly, managing director, East Midlands Trains, said: “What Ed has done with a few thousand old and unused paper tickets is pretty remarkable.

“As well as bring a smile to a few faces, we want to use these artworks to raise awareness about the benefits of using mobile tickets.

“In addition to saving time and hassle at the station, there’s a clear environmental benefit to adopting digital tickets.

Alan Carr

Alan Carr

“These tickets represent just one hour’s worth of paper tickets sold across our network, with over 28,000,000 tickets printed across the whole year.

“By the end of 2018, we aim to have fully rolled out mobile tickets across the entire network and so significantly cut down on this number.”


1. Sir David Attenborough from Leicester, Leicestershire
2. Sir Isaac Newton from Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire
3. Robin Hood from Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
4. Sir Richard Attenborough CBE from Leicester, Leicestershire
5. Gary Lineker OBE from Leicester, Leicestershire
6. Jennifer Saunders from Sleaford, Lincolnshire
7. Sir John Hurt CBE from Chesterfield, Derbyshire
8. Alan Carr from Northampton, Northamptonshire
9. Dame Vivienne Westwood DBE from Glossop, Derbyshire
10. Matt Smith from Northampton, Northamptonshire