Artists Portraits

Anthony Hill (Achill Redo)

Constructionist artist
April 1930 – October 2020

Anthony Hill, 1956.
Photograph: Adrian Flowers

Adrian Flowers: job no. 2025  June 1956  Anthony Hill (1930-2020), artist 

Famed for its spielers, houses of ill-repute and establishments such as the Coach and Horses and l’Escargot, Greek Street is still today the centre of London’s bohemian quarter. Extending from Soho Square to Shaftesbury Avenue, over the centuries the street had been home to many artists, including Canaletto, Peter Turnerelli, Thomas Lawrence, Richard Westall and William Etty. In 1956, the artist Anthony Hill had a studio on Greek Street, where he was completing a series of abstract ‘concrete’ paintings and wall-mounted reliefs, in preparation for the forthcoming This is Tomorrow exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. (The term ‘concrete’ describing abstract works that refer to themselves rather than to external reality). In June of that year Adrian Flowers visited Hill’s studio, to photograph the artist and his work. The shots taken that day show that Hill was moving away from conventional oil paintings, preferring instead to make three-dimensional relief paintings/sculptures, using modern materials such as Perspex and aluminium. One of the works that appears in a Flowers’ photograph, Painting 55-56 (Tate collection) was among the last oil paintings made by the artist. Hill described this work as a study in texture and reductionism, with horizontal lines suggesting the canvas was bound by bands. However the photographs taken in 1956 by Flowers inadvertently—or perhaps deliberately—provide a gentle critique of the concept of ‘concrete’ paintings, in that one shot on the contact sheet shows two square windows of the Greek Street studio, with simple astragals, while the next is of Hill’s geometric abstract paintings with their slender cross-bars motifs. Not only did Flowers photograph the paintings, he also took a series of shots of Hill and his collaborator, sculptor John Ernest, standing over a set of free-standing modular cube-like structures. Hill and Ernest were both keen mathematicians, and worked together on ‘crossing number’ in graph theory, an area of research that directly informed Hill’s art.

Anthony Hill’s studio, photograph by Adrian Flowers
From contact sheet:
Concrete paintings by Anthony Hill in his studio, 1956.
Photograph: Adrian Flowers

Born in 1930 in London, from an early age Hill was fascinated, and indeed obsessed, by mathematics. At the age of seventeen he enrolled as a student at St. Martin’s School of Art, moving on two years later to the Central School. Initially working in a Dada and Surrealist style, his interest in mathematics led him to become interested in geometric abstraction, which he felt represented a more rational aesthetic. Visiting Paris in early 1950, he met Sonia Delaunay, George Vantongerloo (a founder member of De Stijl) and Francis Picabia. Another artist who influenced him was Frantisek Kupka, of the Orphic Cubism movement. Hill was particularly inspired by Piet Mondrian’s work and the following year joined the “Constructionist Group”, a late offshoot of the Constructivist movement associated with revolutionary Russia. Other members included Kenneth and Mary Martin, Adrian Heath, Roger Hilton, William Scott, Victor Pasmore and Robert Adams—the latter two were at the Central School at the same time as Hill.  Publishing a manifesto-like Broadsheet that same year, the group showed their work both at Gimpel Fils and the AIA Gallery, in exhibitions entitled British Abstract Arts and Abstract Paintings Sculptures Mobiles respectively. The Constructionists were not working in a vacuum, but were in touch with artists on the Continent, including Marcel Duchamp, the Swiss abstractionist Max Bill, and the American abstract painter Charles Biederman. They avidly read Biederman’s 1948 treatise, Art as the Evolution of Visual Knowledge.

From contact sheet: John Ernest and Anthony Hill, 1956.
Photograph: Adrian Flowers

The Constructionists epitomised the search for a Modernism that would be viable within the complex aesthetics of post-war Britain. Although he had been making geometrically-based collages for some time, in 1952 Hill made his first abstract relief. By 1953, he had abandoned colour, and was making stark black and white paintings, in which geometry and free-form drawing were held in tension. A large painting (now lost) Catenary Rhythms was included in the exhibition Artist versus Machine held at the Building Centre, London, in 1954. That same year, along with Stephen Gilbert and others, Hill featured in Lawrence Alloway’s Nine Abstract Artists, a book which sought to distinguish between ‘genuine’ abstract art, and the more or less random styles adopted by those who had rejected figurative art, but who Alloway felt followed no coherent aesthetic. Alloway’s preference for ‘structural’ artists such as Hill, William Scott, Terry Frost and Kenneth and Mary Martin, was based on a conscious opposition to the expressive abstraction epitomised by Peter Lanyon and other St. Ives artists. The group showed at the Redfern Gallery in 1955, with a catalogue written by Hill and the following year were given prominence in the Whitechapel exhibition This is Tomorrow. Adrian Flowers was a steady presence at the centre of this ferment of creativity, photographing the artists in their studios as they prepared their work for exhibition.

contact sheet image of relief construction by Anthony Hill.
Photograph: Adrian Flowers

After the Whitechapel exhibition, Hill gave up painting entirely, concentrating instead on three-dimensional work. In 1958 his reliefs were shown at the ICA, by which time he was incorporating sheet copper, brass, zinc and stainless steel in these wall-mounted works. The following year Hill and Gillian Wise, another graduate of the Central School of Art, became partners, and in 1962, Hill organised the exhibition Construction: England: 1950-60 at the Drian Gallery, a space founded by the Lithuanian Halima Nalecz, to represent artists excluded from West End Galleries. This was to be the last group exhibition of the Constructionists, and apart from the support of a small band of loyal curators and collectors, they faded from view. Hill and Wise went on to collaborate on works, including Metal Relief with Horizontal Elements (1962) now in the National Galleries of Scotland. In 1963 the couple showed in the exhibition Reliefs/Structures at the ICA.

Based on a high-minded aspiration towards an art that was self-referential and bore no relationship to the world of visible reality, Hill’s aesthetic was intellectual and personal. His often dogmatic assertion of the primacy of this approach led him to write theoretical essays, to explain his approach to making art. However, even within the rarefied world of mathematics, assertions of neutrality were not possible, and Hill’s art and writings can be read today as polemical, personal and even combative assertions regarding society, aesthetics, and the politics of his time. In 1968 Faber and Faber published Data: Directions in Art, Theory, and Aesthetics, a compilation of essays edited by Hill that consciously echoed the 1938 publication Circle, which had featured Naum Gabo, Ben Nicholson and others. Hill’s introductory essay, reflecting his own rigorous approach to making art, was entitled “Programme, Paradigm and Structure”. The following year, led by Jeffrey Steele, a number of UK artists working in this mode formed the “Systems Group”. Less committed to Marxist ideologies, Kenneth and Mary Martin, along with Hill, preferred not to become involved. However Wise, who had been researching Russian Constructivism in the Soviet Union, did join, and eventually this led to her breaking with Hill, who went on to pursue his own career. He subsequently married the Japanese ceramic artist Yuriko Kaetsu (1953-2013). In 1983 he had a retrospective exhibition at the Hayward Gallery and by the early 1970’s was making free-standing geometric constructions. In 1973-4 he adopted the name Achill Redo, under which moniker he exhibited at the Mayor Gallery and Angela Flowers Gallery, and wrote texts that pay homage to the Dadaists and Surrealists. In 1994 his Duchamp anthology Duchamp: Passim was published by Gordon and Breach. In 2012, he was included in the exhibition Concrete Parallels in Sao Paulo, Brazil. By this time, Hill was suffering from bouts of depression that sometimes made it impossible for him to welcome visitors to his studio, and was retreating into an intellectual and personal universe not unlike that of Humphrey Earwicker in James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake.

“I asked LSC for a kick-start idea for do it. He gave me his take, but insisted I don’t credit him or refer to him by name. But I have done it. Lafcadio Svensen Carner, he said the short auteur’s cut was not to do it, to do nothing, i.e., it is not a thing you can overtly do. (How do they do it, these megamind pscientists?) They will never finally, really succeed in doing it when it = the grand theory about every it/thing. Best to switch to art, especially abstract art or pure absolutart—that’s where to aim (or aim to miss, as several stratagists convey). Re: doing it right, LSC said, “I could only come up with, you can either do it right or wrong, there is no tertium whatshit. (i.e. excluturd middleterm), there is the theologic of it. That and O’Kamm’s shaver, to the restcu.” (Achill Redo 2012)

Although characterised as an artist who championed rational intellect over emotional feeling, and methodical planning over spontaneous expression,  Anthony Hill’s work reveals not only a love of mathematics, but also an appreciation of the intuitive nature of art making. His work was informed by the development of computer language, with its emphasis on logic and patterns of connectivity, and he was equally immersed in the ebb and flow of 20th century art movements, such as De Stijl and the Russian Constructivists, but ultimately there is a personal introspective quality in his art that reveals the extent to which he was on an increasingly solitary quest, exploring philosophical questions on the nature of human consciousness and apprehension of the world.

Anthony Hill died in October 2020

Text by Peter Murray

Editor: Francesca Flowers

All images subject to copyright

Adrian Flowers Archive ©

Artists Portraits

Mary Martin (1907-1969)

Mary Martin with model of installation Environment for the Whitechapel exhibition ‘This is Tomorrow’ taken from contact sheet of photgraphs by Adrian Flowers

In 1955 Adrian Flowers photographed artists Mary and Kenneth Martin in their studio in London. At the time, Mary was working on her maquette for Environment, an installation she, in collaboration with architect John Weeks, created for the This is Tomorrow exhibition held at the Whitechapel Gallery the following year. As was usual at the time, Martin repaid Adrian for his work by gifting him Expanding Form, a three dimensional work made of Perspex, stainless steel and wood. Years later, in 1984, Adrian loaned this work to the retrospective exhibition of Mary Martin’s work, held at the Tate Gallery. One of his 1955 photographs was also used for the catalogue that accompanied this exhibition.

Born in Folkestone, Kent in 1907, Mary Martin (née Balmford) was one of the most influential abstract artists to work in Britain in the post war period. In the latter half of the 1920’s she studied at both Goldsmiths’ College and the Royal College of Art. In 1930 she married fellow student Kenneth Martin; they had two sons, John and Paul. Although Mary died prematurely, in 1969, she left behind a legacy of artworks that have continued to shape people’s view of what “Modern Art” meant to Britain in the post-war decades. Having raised, along with her husband Kenneth, a family during the 1940’s, Martin was in no position to become a full-time artist until 1950, by which time she was in her ‘forties. Her career spanned just two decades, but during that time she made a considerable impression, achieving recognition for an intellectually rigorous approach to the making of art. Her first abstract reliefs date from 1951. Commissioned to curate an exhibition of abstract art for the Festival of Britain in 1950, Kenneth was a catalyst in Martin’s decision to abandon figurative painting in favour of abstract art. Influences included the work of Piet Mondrian, J. W. Power’s The Elements of Pictorial Construction, and artist friends, notably Victor Pasmore and Adrian Heath. Whether constructed in two or three dimensions, Martin’s work was shaped by classical geometries and vectors, with echoes of the art of paper folding, or Origami. With its mathematical basis—not least an interest in Fibonacci sequence and the ‘Golden Section’—her work was also in many ways an artistic response to the technological developments then taking place in the world of logic and computing, reflecting the philosophies of both Plato and of George Boole. As with computer switching, many of her constructions contain elements that appear open or closed, black or white, positive or negative—operating visually in much the same way as hinged windows on the façade of a building. This architectural quality in her work is not accidental;  in 1956 Martin collaborated with Kenneth Martin and the architect John Weeks, in building an installation in the influential Whitechapel Gallery exhibition This is Tomorrow, and not long afterwards designed a free-standing wall for Musgrave Park hospital  Belfast. Her monumental frieze-like wall construction, made for the University of Stirling in 1969 and experienced by thousands of students, still serves as a powerful expression of how Modernism shaped British society and intellectual thought during these years. What was important to Martin was that her work could operate in a purely architectonic way. She was less interested in applying artworks as an afterthought to a building. She was an influential artist, not least because of her writings on art and architecture, many of which were published in the Dutch architectural magazine Structure. 

Mary Martin with Black Relief 1957(?), perspex and wood. Photograph from Tate Catalogue 1984

Text: Peter Murray

Editor: Francesca Flowers

All images subject to copyright.

Adrian Flowers Archive ©

Dancers Musicians Portraits

Christian Holder – diadems and dance

Christian Holder, Arthur “Boscoe” Holder and Sheila Clarke

Early in January 1966, Adrian Flowers took a series of portrait photographs of his longtime friends, the Holder family.  Along with their 16 year-old son Christian, Arthur “Boscoe” Holder and his wife Sheila Clarke were the toast of London at this time. Christian, having trained as a dancer at the Corona Academy Stage School in London, was a scholarship student at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York. Returning to London to spend Christmas with his parents, he could not return to America because of a New York Transit strike, and so stayed on in England over the New Year. On January 4th he accompanied his parents to Flowers’ studio in Tite Street, Chelsea. Christian remembers the photo shoot well, and describes Adrian as a warm and gracious person. The photographs convey the poise and self-confidence that characterise the Holder family. Elegantly dressed, they form a striking group, with Christian standing taller than his father. The photographs show him dressed in a variety of fashionable Mod outfits, trousers and polonecks, as well as demonstrating a series of dramatic and vigorous dance poses. There are close-ups of his mother Sheila, her hair bejwelled, and photographs of her wearing elegant evening dresses.

Sheila Clarke photographed by Adrian Flowers January 1966
Christian Holder, January 1966, wearing a coffee coloured camel hair jacket bought in Carnaby St
Christian Holder wearing a tweed outfit made for him

Prominent in the world of art, dance and theatre, the Holder family brought together the vitality of the Caribbean, with the artistic flair of New York and the sophisticated audiences of London. Born in 1921 in Trinidad, Christian’s father Boscoe, and his English-born mother Sheila were both professional dancers. As well as being a celebrated pianist, Boscoe was a talented painter, specialising in portraits and Trinidadian scenes. His “Women in White” series, featuring black models wearing Edwardian garments and French West Indian national dress were among his most sought-after paintings. His work, which was exhibited in London at the Redfern Gallery, is in collections around the world. Boscoe taught for a time in the United States, at the Katherine Dunham School, before moving to London in 1950 where he and Sheila founded their dance troupe, “Boscoe Holder and his Caribbean Dancers”, presenting “Bal Creole” on BBC television that same year. He played piano at London clubs, and in the early 1960’s co-owned the “Hay Hill”, a club in Mayfair, where he and Sheila appeared in cabaret. From 1959 to 1963, Boscoe produced, costumed and choreographed a floor show at the May Fair Hotel’s “Candlelight Room”, while simultaneously leading a group of musicians at the hotel called “The Pinkerton Boys”. This group alternated three sets a night with top bandleader Harry Roy’s musicians. Celebrated in London’s theatre world, Boscoe and Sheila formed close friendships with Noel Coward and costume designer Oliver Messel. Their introduction of Trinidadian steel bands to Britain in 1950 signalled the beginning of a love affair with West Indian music that eventually culminated in the annual Notting Hill carnivals.

Not least because of this artistic talent, Christian’s family, on both sides, were able to side-step the colonial stratification of West Indian society. His maternal grandmother, Kathleen Davis, had attended Redland High School for Girls in Bristol as a child. She acted alongside Paul Robeson in the 1935 production of Stevedore in London, and also played the role of Kamera in Debt of Honour, a film made the following year, starring stage and screen star Leslie Banks. Upon her return to Trinidad her radio show for children, “Aunty Kay’s Children’s Hour”, was a long-running hit on Radio Trinidad.

Kathleen’s daughter—by her first marriage, to Percival McIntosh Clarke, who qualified as a doctor from Queen’s College, Belfast, in 1929—was Christian’s mother Sheila. Christian followed in the family tradition, from an early age training as a dancer and actor in London.  His debut came when he was just four years old, when, along with his father and mother, he danced at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Christian Holder, aged 16, January 1966

As a young child, Christian played “Pip” in Moby Dick – Rehearsed, a (unfinished) film commissioned in 1955 by the BBC and directed by Orson Welles.  In 1963 he won a scholarship to study at the Martha Graham School in New York, and by the late 1960’s was a leading member of the Joffrey Ballet. A decade later he was appearing with, and choreographing for, San Francisco Opera productions. During these years, Christian also choreographed for other companies, including American Theatre Ballet and Atlanta Ballet. He designed costumes for Ballet du Capitole in Toulouse, France, and taught ballet at several studios and schools, including the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. The principal designer for Tina Turner from 1973-1984, he is also a painter. Several exhibitions of his work have been held, including a London show in 2010, where his paintings were shown alongside those of his father and Oliver Messel. His paintings are currently being exhibited together with his father’s at Campbells of London, in South Kensington. (

Christian’s one-man show as a cabaret singer, “At Home and Abroad” was a hit in London’s West end in 2015. It was performed three years later at ‘Feinstein’s/54 Below’ in New York, and then in 2019 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. That same year he made his debut at the New York Cabaret Convention at the Lincoln Center.

Text: Peter Murray

Editor: Francesca Flowers

All images subject to copyright.

Adrian Flowers Archive ©

Artists Portraits

Icosahedral structure of virus revealed 1959

Poliomyelitis virus model by sculptor John Ernest.
Photograph by Adrian Flowers

In November 1959 Adrian Flowers was asked by Sir Aaron Klug to photograph the model constructed by sculptor John Ernest. Although research into the spherical nature of viruses had already been carried out by Francis Crick and James Watson, in the mid-1950’s, using X-Ray photography, the icosahedral structure of the Poliomyelitis virus was first identified by John Finch (1930-2017) and Sir Aaron Klug (1926-2018). In appearance, the icosahedral form of the polio virus is similar to the geodesic domes developed and popularised by Buckminster Fuller during that same period. In 1948, J. Bernel, head of the Department of Physics at Birkbeck College, set up the Biomolecular Research Laboratory, at 21 Torrington Square, where Rosalind Franklin led a small group of researchers. After joining Franklin’s team as assistant and student, as part of his doctoral research Finch studied the three-dimensional structure of viruses using microscopic photography. In 1958, Franklin died prematurely, and Aaron Klug, who had also joined the team, took over her work and the supervision of her students, Finch and Ken Holmes, who both graduated the following year. In spite of concerns of staff at Birkbeck College, Klug and Finch began researching the polio virus. Samples of this virus had been brought into England, from Berkeley University in the US, on a regular airline flight—albeit in crystalline form. Mounted within fused quartz glass so as not to infect people, the tiny spherical viruses were housed at the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, from where they were brought to the Royal Institution, where Finch photographed them using high intensity X-ray cameras. The resulting images revealed the icosahedral structure of the tiny spheres.

This pioneering research, by Franklin, Klug and Finch, enabled large-scale models of both TMV and polio viruses to be constructed by sculptor John Ernest (1922-1994), to help in publicising this breakthrough in medical science. Born in Philadelphia, Ernest was an abstract sculptor who had settled in England. Studying at St. Martin’s School of Art, he was influenced by Victor Pasmore, and became part of the constructivist group that included Anthony Hill and Kenneth and Mary Martin. Fascinated by mathematics and interested in new materials, he used polystyrene to make the poliomyelitis models. At the request of Aaron Klug, prior to their being transported to Brussels, where they were to be displayed in the International Science Pavilion at the 1958 World’s Fair, the models were photographed, in the hallway of Birkbeck College, by Adrian Flowers.

Photographs of the virus models built by Ernest were also taken by John Finch himself, and these can be seen at

John Ernest picture with his Poliomyelitis virus model. Photograph by Adrian Flowers

Text: Peter Murray

Editor: Francesca Flowers

All images subject to copyright.

Adrian Flowers Archive ©

Adrian Flowers Studio Portraits

Adrian Flowers: an appreciation

by Matthew Flowers

Adrian with his three sons: (l-r) Matthew, Daniel, Adam

He was eccentric. To the extent that when I was born in 1956, two weeks late and almost 10 pounds, Adrian’s primary concern at the birth was getting a good sound recording of the action. Despite the fact that I was silent on arrival, my mother was certainly not, when she brought me into this world. As soon as things had calmed down in the kitchen of England’s Lane, Haverstock Hill, above the electrical shop, Adrian’s first inclination was to go upstairs and relive the experience through the recording.

Like many of us, Adrian was full of contradictions. A man who expressed zero interest in sport, yet was quietly, and highly, competitive. He ensured we always had the biggest firework displays amongst our friends. When I was 7 he visited me at boarding school on sports day. Consuming biscuits as part of a race against parents to see who could eat the quickest, he made sure he won. But as with all Flowers, he would never leave a plate with food left on it anyway.

Adrian had a lifelong interest in music, particularly jazz, and he was an exceptional talent at the piano. At Sherborne, the headmaster reported to his father Edward that Adrian was distracted from his academic studies by his interest in playing the piano. Edward had already been disappointed by the vocational fate of Geoffrey, Adrian’s brother, who became a piano teacher, organist and composer. Edward advised the headmaster to put a stop to Adrian’s piano playing. Adrian made up for that disappointment by facilitating and encouraging all four of his children to become fine musicians themselves.

He loved cats. There was always at least one cat in all of his households. But the greatest animal love of his life was Sarah the dog, a beautiful Labrador-boxer whose football skills matched George Best and who was the subject of many photographic portraits. Named after the jazz singer Sarah Vaughan, Sarah was the catalyst to Adrian’s other great pastime – walking and talking on Hampstead Heath. He instigated a Sunday morning tradition of walks on the Heath with Sarah and any family that was around.

Sarah “fastest footballing dog”

After the walks were yet more talks. Adrian gathered many artist friends to our house on Patshull Road later on Sundays. He had a love of British constructivist art – Kenneth Martin, Anthony Hill, John Ernest, Victor Pasmore. He placed sculpture by Denis Mitchell and Brian Wall in our house. When Adrian rubbed the tall metal curve of the Mitchell piece, money would mysteriously fall to the floor. I have less fond memories of Brian Wall’s heavy steel construction. One day a strong friend of Adam’s tied a rope through its metal bars, pulled it to the floor, catching the end of my foot in the process and breaking my toe.
A happier memory from my childhood was the game Adrian played with us loosely titled “Sit Still.” We were called to Adrian’s lap to sit perfectly still on his knee otherwise we’d be dropped to the floor. Somehow, we all always ended up on the floor.

He believed in the power of advertising and was sometimes obsessive in pursuit of the perfect image. When commissioned for what I recall was a legwear advertisement, he searched long and hard for the “ideal knees,” and had countless women in his studio showing him their legs, none of which fit the bill. In exasperation he finally asked his assistant Gala to show him her knees, and had his Eureka moment that the perfect knees were right in front of him. Gala’s knees became the subject of a famous postcard commissioned by Angela Flowers Gallery for their 1971 postcard exhibition.

We were often the beneficiaries of the props leftover from Adrian’s sets. When Adrian would do cigarette ads, he would come home with cartons of cigarettes, which Dan and I would steal on a regular basis. He once did an ad for an ice cream company that had 32 different flavors. He created a photograph of 4 cones, each with 8 scoops of ice cream on it. He brought home the remaining ice cream from the set to our delight.

A little known passion of his was boating. His childhood in Portsmouth was a likely start for this. When I was about seven he bought a boat called Edith 2. Our family took a memorable trip on her from London up the Thames to Pangbourne. He took Edith 2 from London to Mill Cove, county Cork, in the late 60s. Edith 2 had an inbuilt motor which made the boat heavy. I was charged with going down at dawn to bail out any overnight water ingress. When I got there, there was no sign of Edith. She had sunk to the bottom of the cove. On another boat, I spent a week on the Norfolk Broads with him during the summer of 1973. It was a happy trip for me.

Over the years Adrian had many Alvis cars, culminating in two giant saloons, both blue. The reason he had two was that one was always in the garage being fixed. Soon after I passed my driving test I was allowed to drive one on my own. It was like driving a tank.
He idolized his three siblings, all of whom were significantly older than him. He only got to know some of his nieces and nephews as adults, many of whom visited him here in France.
He came to France in 1996, with Françoise. He loved the sun, good food, and a quieter life than London. He never learned French.

The Moulin allowed him the opportunity to create his archive in the famous barn, with the help of Brian Durling, who is here today. The barn was the culmination of his life’s work. It was Adrian’s personal museum, library, oasis, office, studio, escape, home, legacy and spirit. He cherished every single item in the barn, from his rare vintage cameras, lights, tripods, scaffolding, magazine and newspaper collections, set props, preparatory materials from adverts, negatives, transparencies, polaroids, prints, printing equipment, posters, artworks, video tapes, books, portfolios, objects that he wanted to photograph, like old metal, tree trunks, pieces of wood, rotting fruits. Nothing escaped his eye, and nothing escaped from the barn. He was fiercely protective of its contents. On many occasions over the last ten years I tried to borrow various items with a view to formally cataloguing his remarkable career and rare archive. He was insistent that nothing be removed, dismantled or dispersed for any purpose by anyone.

Adrian Flowers film by Luke Tomlinson

Over the last week I’ve had many kind messages from people who have known Adrian. Len Deighton who knew Adrian well through being RAF photographers together just after the second world war, said “I want to assure you that your father was very philosophical about everything. So don’t be sad on his behalf. He will have taken death in his stride, as he did everything else.”

A few memories and reflections others have shared have stood out as well: dentist’s chair, spooky fishtank, end of an era, eccentric individual, individual, master of his Life hobby, profession and innovator extraordinaire, the holder of waddery, all his paperwork, the Stuff Merchant of Tite Street, garages galore, giggling at the Marx brothers, being a great husband, a brilliant father and a wonderful grandfather.

Matt Flowers
May 2016