Elaine Pamphilon – Biography

Elaine Pamphilon
Elaine Pamphilon

Elaine is a painter and musician. Elaine often takes breakfast coffee and sits on the warm slate step in front of her house and studio in St Ives, to watch the sunlight, sparkling on the sea.

“Each morning is different and something new holds your attention”
She loves the wild, windswept beauty of the coastal paths, the changing light and different textures of land, sky and sea.
“I can come back from a walk with lots of ideas and starting points for new work. And that is Cornwall, it gets into your heart and soul, romantic and inspirational”

Background on H S ‘Jim’ Ede – mentioned in some of Elaine’s paintings

Harold Stanley [‘Jim’] Ede was born on 7 April 1895 near Cardiff. He attended the Leys School in Cambridge, studied painting at Newlyn Art School and, after service in the First World War, attended the Slade School of Art in London. Writing about the formation of Kettle’s Yard, Ede mentions that, although the early inspiration came from his meeting with Ben and Winifred Nicholson in 1924, his love for painting and his desire to become a painter started well before that:

‘I was 15 at the Leys School in Cambridge and fell in love with early Italian painting . . . and before that at thirteen when I first visited the Louvre, saw nothing, but fell for Puvis de Chavannes . . .’

Leaving the Slade after one year, Jim Ede worked in the photographic department of the National Gallery, London, while continuing to paint. He was then appointed Assistant at the Tate Gallery, London, a change he describes as ‘phenomenal’: ‘I gave up painting and became absorbed in the work of contemporary artists. I wrote a great deal about modern painting and sculpture, and came to know most of the leading artists of the day, and also the ones who were not yet known.’ It was while at the Tate that he formed important friendships with Ben Nicholson, David Jones and other artists, and acquired the greater part of the estate of Sophie Brzeska, the partner of the sculptor, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, who had been killed in the First World War.

In 1935-36 Ede resigned from the Tate and built a house on the outskirts of Tangier, Morocco. During the war years Jim travelled to the USA, with Helen, on lecture tours, with funds raised being contributed to Allied War Relief. They lived in Morocco until 1952 when they moved to Les Charlotti�res, Chailles, near Amboise in the Loire Valley, France. The Edes moved to Cambridge in 1956 and renovated four derelict cottages to create Kettle’s Yard.

Jim and Helen Ede left for Edinburgh in 1973, where Helen died in 1977; Jim spending the last years of his life as a hospital visitor until his death in 1990.

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