The Calderdale artist trying to warn others through drug addict’s horror

Molly Pegg with her artwork at Todmorden Community College.
Molly Pegg with her artwork at Todmorden Community College.

HER work is dark, disturbing and painful but its is of a world Molly Pegg says too many people are ignoring.

The 39-year-old from Mytholmroyd has created a collection of 3D sculptures based on the horrific ordeal of an heroin and crack addict.

She was inspired by a series of stories the Courier ran last year about a recoverd drug addict from Hebden Bridge.

It told of how he started dealing drugs when was just 15, had a daughter born addicted to heroin when he was 20, and was homeless, desperate and suicidal only a few years later.

He was run out of two towns by other dealers and his drug addiction was out of control,with him needing more than £100 of heroin and crack cocaine just to function.

It took a violent car crash that left him w tih a fractured skull, broken collar bone, three broken ribs, a punctured lung and put him in a coma for four days to turn his life around.

She said his experiences touched her as they were of a world she had seen growing up in Hebden Bridge.

“A lot of that kind of thing was going on when I was growing up there,” she said.

“As a teenager and a young adult, I was totally surrounde d by it.

“I wanted to base my work around it to try to reach people and get the message across of what can happen.

“It’s not a game. Your life is precious and you have to look after your life.

“I think it’s so easy for a lot of young people to get caght up in this sort of life and not realise the road they are going down.”

Molly has been displaying her work as part of the end of year show at Todmorden Community College, where she has been studying Fine Art for the last four years.

She says the reaction from people has been mixed.

Some has been positive but others have not even been able to view it, instead turning round and walking away.

“Some couldn’t face to look,” she said.

“I think that’s often people’s attitude to this world.”

Molly came to the college after 15 years of working as a hairdresser in Hebden Bridge.

“Hairdressing is artistic but it juts got to the point where I didn’t want to be working i nthe shop any more , “ she said.

“I wanted to do something different and I’m really enjoying this.”

She now plans s to study for a degree in Art and Design at Bradford University.

Film-maker Jez Lewis also grew up in Hebden Bridge and has also highlighted the problem with drugs in the area.

He has received critical acclaim for his documentary Shed Your Tears and WalkAway which he made while trying to explore why so many of his friends from his home town had died from drink, drugs or suicide.

The film was shown at packed-ou screenings at Hebden Bridge Picuture House.

For help and advice about drug and alcohol addiction contact Calderdale Substance Misuse Service, based at School House on Hopwood Lane in Halifax, on 0800 328 6397 or 01422 361111.

Support is also available from The Basement Recovery Project, based on Carlton Street in Halifax town centre, by calling 01422 383063