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Philip Gibbs Retires from Heatherleys






Nobody is quite sure when it was that Philip first arrived at Heatherleys. As far as I can remember he has always been a part of the very fabric of the school, working hard in the print room or perhaps taking a well earned break in the staff kitchen. And I think we thought he always would be. Philip has been the mainstay of the Print Room, supporting and encouraging the creative genius of countless aspiring printmakers through the ages. They tell me they will never forget his kindness, his patience and always thorough technical instruction nor, on occasion, his fierce protection of the etching press blankets from careless users. He has been personally responsible for the Hang and the Look of both staff and student exhibitions over the years and is well known for meticulous care given to balance and painstaking measurement. Woe betide the hapless student exhibitor who knowingly ignores Philip’s centre line!

So we were surprised to hear that Phil might be leaving Heatherleys and very sad when that day finally arrived. Could it be possible that Phil might find another life without us? Well yes and I think he already has. Philip is an artist in his own right (Dia-spore-a, his photographic piece charting the progress of spores floating down the Old Kent Rd comes to mind) and I am glad that he will at last have the time to give his own creativity the focus it deserves. All of us, his friends and colleagues, his many students, past and present, wish him well, godspeed and au revoir!

-Veronica Ricks

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