In a unique collaboration between the DHRA, The Threadbone Corporation and the Dorset Royal Academy of Art, a delightful "conversation piece": Professor Thrupiece and His Circle by Constance Sturgis RA has been made available for purchase in a limited edition signed by the artist.
Originally sketched in 1972 by Ms Sturgis - herself a member of the Professor's small group of friends - it is an informal piece depicting the Professor, Ms Audrey Badminton Court, Ms Celia Notso-Pointy and others relaxing in the public bar of The King's Head Poole: a place in which they frequently gathered for late Sunday morning drinks.
"It's an informal portrait of the group, because informality was the keynote of our little gatherings" the artists explained. "We would chat over issues of the day and the things which we all felt passionate about at the time. Professor Thrupiece was deep into ethically-informed genetic restructuring at the time so naturally that came up a lot. Though he was generally more thoughtful than loquacious, he opened up a bit on these occasions and catching him - for once - in a more animated mood, I was moved to undertake a quick sketch. I thought little of it at the time - he was hardly as famous then as he was to become - and I just thought of it as a memento of happy times. Given the rarity of portraits of Professor Thrupiece it turns out to have been more special than I realised."
The sketch remained in the possession of Ms Sturgis until 2014 when it was acquired by Ms Notso-Pointy as a gift for her lifelong companion Ms Badminton Court. "It was a joint decision to share the image with a wider public", Ms Notso-Pointy explained. "We love it so much ourselves it seemed selfish not to let others enjoy it too."
The sketch will be on show at the Dorset Royal Academy of Art between 10 - 24 June. The limited edition reproductions can be purchased directly from the Royal Academy and via the DHRA Members digivault facility. [Members ONLY should click on the image below.]
<<STOP PRESS>> . This item is now available to the general public through the orinoco store
Ms Constance Sturgis's "conversation piece" goes on show at the Dorset Royal Academy of Arts between 10-24 June.