The Painter by the Pool

It must be the first time ever that silence has descended for long periods of time at a Civic society meeting. Not a word was spoken as Vic Bowcott, our 'speaker' for October, entranced everyone with a painting lesson interlaced with anecdotes about his life as a painter. A watercolourist, Vic will be known to many members as one of the painters by the pool (Minster Pool actually).

In one hour, Vic executed a painting of street artists in Prague and still managed to tell us about his life as a painter. His and his colleagues' residence on Saturdays by the Pool lasted in total for 13 years, when they became very much a part of City life. Vic's experiences extend beyond Lichfield, especially to France, where he has held many exhibitions. He even confided with us that he used his National Service in Suez to paint scenes whilst on guard duty!

On a more serious note, there was a shared concern over the dearth of exhibition facilities in Lichfield, despite the flourishing interest in painting. The Art Gallery at the Library is now much reduced in size, the Carnegie Library and Art Gallery is lost to arts use, at least for the foreseeable future and of course the Arts Centre remains an unused, unrepaired eysore. Yet painting classes in Lichfield flourish. This state of affairs is different, in Vic's experience, from France, where both corporate and government support is seen as an obligation, not something to avoid.

If you regret missing Vic's art lesson, there's an opportunity to see his paintings displayed between 22nd November and 10th December, at Donegal House during the week and at the Guildhall on Saturdays.

Roger Hockney
October 2005