Obituary: Martin Pilcher

Martin Ralph Cecil Pilcher, painter, photographer, born Dusseldorf 6 January 1948, died Poole 22 July 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.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015