Obituary: Martin Pilcher
Wednesday 12 August 1992
MARTIN PILCHER - Pilcher of Poole, as he styled himself - was an unusual marine artist and photographer. He had recently started experimenting with painting under water.
He was born in Dusseldorf, the son of a major who served in postwar Germany. He was educated at Aiglon College in Switzerland and at Cirencester Agricultural College, then farmed for 15 years with his father in Hampshire, before deciding to became a full-time photographer. He experimented with infra-red film, using magenta and cyan as a medium. The results presented an exciting new dimension for the portrayal of the natural world.
A keen yachtsman and diver, he turned to marine and, later, underwater photography. He photographed boats on commission, both on the water and at Earl's Court Boat Show. His photography led to his painting. He started painting what he saw in his photographs. Bold, sometimes unreal colours captured cascading fragments of light. He was commissioned to paint boats and seascapes. From his house in Poole he had a good view of Brownsea Island. He was influenced also by Japanese art and culture. He visited Japan twice in the 1980s, and started learning Japanese.
Recently he began experimenting with underwater painting. He prepared wood panels, attached weights to them and lowered them into the water. Then he weighted oil paints, lowered them similarly and applied them under water. It was while undertaking such an exercise that he died; his diving partner, Susan Wilkes, nearly died herself in trying to save him.
Pilcher held several exhibitions in London and Poole, and a new exhibition of his work opened on Monday, in Henley-on-Thames. Outside his experiments in painting and photography, he was a keen countryman, devoted to shooting, pheasant, deer and - in Canada - moose.
- 1 Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...
£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...
£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...