Eric Clarke

1927-2015.


Eric always won the art prize when he was at school. But it was his love of the land and of working with animals that won over when he chose a career: he farmed a small hill farm perched on the side of the Brendon Hills on Exmoor. Well before it was fashionable he converted it to be farmed on organic principles, established the West Somerset support group to the Soil Association, and was subsequently voted onto their council and eventually Vice President until, together with Lady Eve Balfour and his co vice-president, he resigned in the 1980’s, unhappy with the commercial route the Association was being taken down.

This integrity and humility is typical of so much of what he did in his life and which, after his retirement, became evident in the art that he then found the time for. There are a number of themes that follow through his work, from birds in thorn bushes (that precious, vulnerable part of your soul that has to be protected) to pilgrims searching in forests. But he was funny too – so there are also clowns and jesters as well as daft cartoons in the numerous sketch books he left. But, without being too deep, everything “said” something that was important to him.



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