Sir Ox Hat


50 x 90 cm

Acrylic on canvas with newspaper clippings.

Mounted on a stretcher frame and ready to hang.

1 in stock



Sir Ox Hat, this is a painting about the anti-depressant Seroxat, hence the name Sir Ox Hat. Hard to know where to start or what to say about this painting. Sometime around the late nineties/early 2000s, I had the misfortune of being prescribed Seroxat by my GP. It seems strange to reflect on it now, I went to see a doctor for help with mild depression and anxiety and five minutes later came away with a prescription for Seroxat. At that moment I was entirely unaware of the damage this medication I was given was about to do to my psychological health and the wider implications for my life in general.

Within a month I was self-harming, experiencing suicidal ideation (which I didn’t have before), and in the throes of a full-on mental breakdown that culminated in my family trying to have me sectioned. All of this was due to a pill prescribed in a doctor’s office under the dubious pretense that it would help with my anxiety.

In the long term everything I had before I took that pill slowly disappeared. I lost eventually my house, my wife, my job in retail management, and most importantly my long-term psychological health, it took years to recover, and I never returned to the person that I was before. My light had been dimmed, albeit temporarily, I’m certainly shining again now.

A lot has been said and discussed about Seroxat including this Panorama documentary:

This Wikipedia page:

This article in the Nursing Times:

And this article in the Guardian:

I don’t claim any kind of victimhood or want any sympathy, you get knocked down, you get up again, that is the nature of life.

Glaxo Smith Kline paid a record fine of 3 billion dollars for misleading the FDA in the states “The United States Department of Justice fined GlaxoSmithKline $3 billion in 2012, for withholding data, unlawfully promoting use in those under 18, and preparing an article that misleadingly reported the effects of paroxetine in adolescents with depression following its clinical trial study 329”

In the UK I believe there were some compensation cases, but you can be sure I never saw a penny of it, nor would I have been in a frame of mind where I was able to make a claim at the time.

I suppose this painting is cathartic, aren’t they all? I wonder occasionally how different my life would have been if it hadn’t been completely derailed because of the greed of a global pharmaceutical behemoth. But I am not one to wish away my current head, or idly dream of editing my past.

It’s insane to me that this drug and brand weathered all that and still exists, and is still prescribed. Is it any wonder that I don’t trust doctors or pharmaceutical companies?

This artwork was featured in my recent exhibition ‘Outsider’  which ran from 09.10.23 – 12.10.23 in Eskişehir, Turkey.





























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