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Arthur was born in Birmingham. He studied book illustration at Birmingham College of Art and graphic design at the Royal College of Art. He worked in publishing for twenty-three years as a freelance designer in London. He took early retirement and returned to the Midlands in 1987 to paint fulltime. His main subjects are urban, especially areas that are changing and industrial, either inside the working factory or the outsides of factories.

He has had exhibitions at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Dudley Art Gallery, Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry, the National Coal Mining Museum as well as work in exhibitions at the Mall Galleries, Bankside Gallery and the RBSA Gallery, Birmingham. He published a collection of his watercolours ‘Change in the Midlands’ in 2007.