Sunday, 27 February 2011


I had another opportunity yesterday to admire the beautiful Victorian curves of Brighton station (below) on the way to visit my dear, dear friend, artist Mrs Gillian Trundle-Hepplewhite.

Gillian lives in the grandiose Palmeira Square area of Hove, in a lovely art deco inspired flat with her original Northern Soul hipster and builder husband John. Goldsmiths alumni Gillian agreed to give me a crash course in screen printing, but not before I took the grand tour of their amazing living space full of exotic wares she had accumulated over the years...

Along with the stylish accessories like the vintage Mickey Mouse and beautiful modernist carved bust above, Gill and John's house was full of hip period detail like the elegant curved wall and neutral-toned, minimalist, marblised shower below.

The upper levels of the property contained a number of skylights, the master bedroom featuring an enchanting view towards the pretty St. John the Baptist Church perched on the Western end of the regency-era Palmeira Square (below). Gill's flat sits in a brilliant location, the beautiful church up the northern end of her street, while Hove's lovely seafront lies at the southern end, a matter of a few minutes walk away. 

Gill and John's outdoor space included this beautiful solid vintage sun dial below and other small but perfectly formed accessories.

Gill showed me some fine examples of her screen printing work, inspired by John's northern soul roots and his enormous vinyl collection which runs into the many hundreds. The stark, detailed print below is a post-modern tribute to the music obsessive and a nice interpretation of the numerous nights spent under the Hepplewhite roof way past midnight with the turntables turned up to 11... 

Gill's other obsession is the retro graphics and art deco aesthetics so integral to the city of Miami and the Florida Keys area. The influence is clear in pretty, stylised prints like this hip one below.

We finally got down to brass tacks with a run-through of the basics of screen printing a simple stencil. Gill let me down gently by informing me that the crappy vintage silk screen frame I had picked up at a garage sale in Australia for $8 wasn't up to the job...however my squeegee was the business so all was not lost. We did a few simple prints - featuring a crude rendering of Gill's favourite symbol - and viola!...a few very, I mean VERY rough images emerged. Luckily Gill was still smiling despite that crimson paint threatening to go all over her beautiful new kitchen fittings.

After all that hard work, it was off for a twilight stroll around Hove's grand Palmeira Square. The descending sun created a beautiful sunset over the wooden beach huts as the square gradually illuminated with cosy, warm hues eminating from luxurious lounge and dining rooms. The grand, spacious flats seemed to be full of idiosyncratic furnishings and characterful charm, the rainy pavements reflecting a magical, opulent ambience. Not a single stick of Brighton Rock to be seen...gotta love Hove.


  1. love this post blondine! great to see you get your art on, the second last photo is particularly lovely,

  2. Robert, I subscribed to your blog.
    Mine is:
    I hope the intro in red print is helpful, as we prepare and make resolutions for the New Year, 2012. I intend to make my blog/website a resource for professionals and average folk. It has reference materials. For now check:

    It is just one that I recommend. All the great books on philosophy and theology are available on websites on my website. To light a virtual candle for a loved one, broken romance, death of a pet, go to:

    Have a good Christmas & New Year, 2012. Also, for your friends. If you reply, I'll send you a slide show of Nativity scenes from around the world.

    - Ivan

  3. Robert, it being Christmas, I googled for photos of the cathedral in Hove, where I went for midnight mass many years ago. I lived by the Brighton railway station, the street above it.

    I loved to walk and watch things locally. I once walked to Croydon from Brighton, and then jumped on the train to save time.

    On Christmas eve, I walked down to the board walk and then west with a chilly wind from the channel in my face, all the way to the hove cathedral. I came back walking from behind on the hill, to avoid the chill. I have a CD of their choir, by mail order, and a tape of the rosary they used to say on the radio.

    Simply beautiful. The cathedral is so tall, and built centuries ago.

    I wanted to check how the folks at the cathedral are doing, and saw your website in the list that came up. I clicked on it, as I was wondering about the cause of the tears, not the tears themselves. Why is this Englishman crying?

    When I was at St. Joseph's, a Jesuit boarding school in Bangalore, probably the best all-round school for boys in India, our Principal was Fr. Jacques, pronounced 'Jakes', as he was a British Jesuit. When I was leaving, he sent a note that I should come to see him. I was afraid. What have I done now?

    I saw tears welling in his eyes, which shocked me. He was always serenely disciplined. I had tears flowing from mine and a sense of foreboding. He told me to wash my face in his basin, and gave me his own towel to wipe it. Again, very shocking, as we did not share towels, not even with close friends. His kerchief, which he took out of his cassock pocket, was spotless white, and he wiped his eyes.

    He then told me that when I go out there, pointing to the door, I should never show my tears and make them happy. Instinctively, well almost, I find it easier not to cry, than to do so. In fact, I have never given in to a public display, or even a private one. I keep it deep inside.

    It is a very beautiful blog, Robert.
    Your pics of Brighton and Hove, stunningly beautiful. I liked to stroll.

    My website, very cluttered, is:
    Do read the introduction in 'red print'.

    I had sent this earlier, but when it asked for my e-mail password, I spooked. I'll chose URL under 'profile'. It does not ask me anything, but I do not know what else it sends.

    I hope you, and 'friends', have a good 2012, with only 'tears of joy', not of despair.

    - Ivan
    Dum Spiro Spera - when I breathe, I hope
    Montreal & Ottawa, Canada