John Howard worked in industry in the Midlands for many years before becoming a printmaker. His first works drew on his experience as a foundry worker, creating dramatic interiors of steel works. He later developed a fascination for canals and their role in the industrial history of the Midlands. Today Victorian canal-side buildings have given way to modern factory units and huge structures such as motorways and it was to these that Howard turned for the Spaghetti Junction series.
Their composition was influenced by Howard's interest in the eighteenth century artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi whose 'architectural fantasies' manipulated true perspective and scale. The Spaghetti Junction etchings are similarly dramatic and theatrical and the absence of people, cars or road signs lends an eerie quality to the work.