Tribute to Pip Pyle
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In 2011 I found myself thinking a lot about Pip, missing him, dreaming about him, still finding it difficult to reconcile myself to his being gone. I looked through some old photos that I had taken at his funeral and decided to paint a series of portraits of some of the people who attended the funeral as a kind of tribute to him. It was an emotional experience. All the people at the funeral were closely connected with Pip. Everybody was thinking about him, talking about him, crying about him, laughing at memories of him. I had only taken photos of people I knew well although many more attended who I didn’t know or didn’t recognise, so the resulting work does not claim to be representative of all the people attending his funeral. I have not included photos I took at the actual funeral as that was such a heartbreaking occasion and I didn’t want to paint anybody actually crying – and most people were. I chose instead to portray people at the reception held afterwards at Sawbridgeworth cricket club pavilion where the atmosphere was more cheerful – not to say hysterical. We had a good time remembering Pip in all his outrageous glory. This is why there are so many portraits of people pissing themselves with laughter.
I found myself feeling incredibly connected to the people I painted as their likenesses developed and they were painted with a lot of love. I decided to put these paintings on a website and use this as an excuse to get back in touch with everybody who I had not been in contact with since then. Here it is at last. Hi everybody. I would love to get back in touch with you all. If you would like to have your portrait get in touch, come and collect. I would love to hear from you, see you, whatever. I am still here at the old address, email etc. Still thinking about Pip, dreaming of him, missing him. I’m sorry to have lost touch with you but as you can see you are very much in my thoughts.
There are 31 paintings in total. They are painted in oil on canvas board and each measures 12 x 15.75 inches ( 30 x 40 cm ) This series took over a year to paint.