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Alfred Wallis was a mariner (a sailor) and scrap merchant who spent most of his life in Cornwall. He started painting when he was around 70 years old, following the death of his wife. Making art was a creative way of dealing with the loneliness he felt. What makes his work so unusual is his use of materials he found around him – using recycled pieces of cardboard, household paints, and pieces of old wood he painted the ships and boats he remembered as a young man. Alfred died in 1942, aged 87.