Chilfrome November 2003
Anyone familiar with the life and works of Professor Brian Thrupiece will know of his great love of the outdoors and of sketching: affections he combined on many trips both within and without his beloved Dorset. The Threadbone Press has already served the Professor magnificently in publishing Thrupiece Abroad, a generous selection of sketches completed in Kent and East Sussex between 1996 and 2002.
Less well known, though widely documented are the sketches he made for private purposes, particularly later in life and often featuring the muse of his advancing years a certain "S", now widely believed to be Shelley-Lulette Sizemore with whom he travelled to Switzerland shortly before his untimely death in 2004. "Homage à S-L S in Three Moods" is perhaps the most widely regarded of these, though readers of the Professor's Diaries will know that he became particularly obsessed with the completion of a sketch of "S" begun on 8 November 2003 when the two spent an afternoon together in the countryside near Chilfrome. Later Diary entries reveal that the Professor was still working on the sketch in late December and further suggest he was anxious to make anatomical corrections in order to do proper justice to his subject's outstanding points.
The unprecedented level of Press interest in the matter following the release of pre-publication copies of Volume 8 of the Diaries has led the Thrupiece Foundation to issue a photographic reproduction of the sketch which, since his death, has lain unseen by anyone save the Professor's immediate circle of friends . In a surprise move, the Foundation has announced that the original will be exhibited for a very short time (May 20-21) in The Assembly Rooms Chilfrome along with another - as yet unspecified - Thrupiece believed to come from his earlier Magenta Period (1984-5). Chilfrome Women's Weekly Art Critic Atha Neum believes this to be a major coup for the area: "I believe it's a major coup for the area", she confirmed, "to think that he came here, was inspired to sketch "S" and that the resulting portrait is coming home to Chilfrome is simply thrilling ... we are all so thrilled and I can't say just how thrilling it is. It's positively thrilling actually".
Chilfrome 2003: An intimate portrait of "S" by Professor Thrupiece. It will hang briefly in The Assembly Rooms Chilfrome before being returned to its private collector. Professor Thrupiece struggled to get points of detail just as he wanted them.