Lot 3 - Fred Whitehead RCA - Fishing Boats, 'Stade' Beach, Hastings
Fred Whitehead RCA (1936-2021)
Oil on Canvas
45.5cm x 35.95cm (Unframed); 39.5 (H) x 49.2 (W) x 3.6cm (D) (Framed)
Signed on Recto
This auction is raising proceeds for St Wilfrid's Hospice Eastbourne
Fred Whitehead (1936-2021) was born in Oldham and studied art in his hometown before later gaining a place to study at the Royal College of Art. He had a successful teaching career working at Leicester School of Art and then at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication in Bromley.
Fred particularly loved the sea and coastline and he would make frequent trips to the Sussex coast and to Cornwall. In 2002 he made the decision to leave London and move to Eastbourne, a place he knew well. Here he made paintings of the quiet streets and grand Victorian buildings that adjoin the seafront. These paintings perfectly capture the light and stillness of the town out of season.
Fred also loved the sculptural forms of the traditional clinker built fishing boats, particularly those of the ancient beach launched fishing fleet of Hastings, just down the coast from Eastbourne. Over many years he photographed and documented these boats and the life of the beach fleet.
Until his death in 2021 Fred Whitehouse lived quietly and rarely socialised, indeed he described himself as reclusive. He was happiest at home in his studio where he produced paintings that are strongly influenced by his art school training at the Royal College of Art at a time when Modern British Art was flourishing.
Coastal Life, An Exhibition of Paintings by Fred Whitehead, Emma Mason Gallery, 2023
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