You just start to get it, then you die...

The Cremation of Ian Broomfield (07.03.1945 - 15.08.2001)                       In memory of my father


I've been looking back at my late father Ian Broomfield's oil paintings recently (see gallery below). He was a huge influence on me, not just as a parent but as a talented artist.

At the core of my own oil on board paintings and my taxidermy assemblage art, is Proust and his mantra that objects trigger memories. I have vivid memories of my father painting at home - and so my father's paintings not only directly influenced my work, seeing his art caused me to remember his funeral.

I stood with my mum Jennifer and sister Laura at the water's edge near our home in Emsworth, Hampshire. It's an idyllic spot by the harbour, and we had envisaged dad's ashes being gently blown out to sea on a breeze. What actually happened was, when I turned over the urn they fell out at my feet in a lump - which I had to nudge with my foot, only for it to land in the water with a resounding 'plop'!

Each of us stood there, stifling laughter, not really knowing how to act. But then my dad always had a wry sense of humour and I think he would have laughed out loud!

The words in the title of this Blog "you just start to get it, then you die..." are what my dad said to me three hours before he passed away. It seems a fitting tribute to remember his words here.

So, the first of my dad Ian's paintings (below) was done in the 1970s at Emsworth Harbour where his ashes were 'scattered'. I love it. The next painting in the gallery is one I created recently 'The Cremation of Ian Broomfield, in memory of my father'. 

Owls are symbolic in death and a link to the passing down of knowledge, the boats and groynes are my interpretation of dad's painting and his urn is bottom left.

Miss you dad.

Paul Broomfield July 2018.