'I wanted to paint myself into what absorbed me ... Natural figures would have broken the spell of it, so I made my figures half unreal. Some critics have said that I turned my figures into puppets, as if my aim were to hint at the hard economic necessities that drove them. To say the truth, I was not thinking very much about the people. I did not care for them the way a social reformer does. They are part of the private beauty that haunted me. I loved them and the houses in the same way: as part of a vision' (L.S. Lowry, quoted in M. Howard, Lowry A Visionary Artist, Salford, 2000, p. 123).