Appeal to pinpoint farmhouse

DO YOU know where this Suffolk farmhouse is?The location of the farmhouse has puzzled many friends of Gilbert Sills who bought the original drawing by late artist John Western.

DO YOU know where this Suffolk farmhouse is?

The location of the farmhouse has puzzled many friends of Gilbert Sills who bought the original drawing by late artist John Western.

Mr Sills, who was a friend of Mr Western, bought the picture at a Campsea Ashe auction, near Woodbridge, several weeks ago.

Now he is turning to readers for their help in solving the mystery. Mr Sills, of Clopton Road, Monewden, said: ''The drawing is dated 1979. The chimney pots are quite distinctive in their layout, two parallel with the house, and two at right angles to it.


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''The wash-house or shed with the chimney to the right is unusual, as buildings of this nature are invariably behind or to the side of the main house.''

Mr Western died 10 years ago aged 44 in a drowning in the River Deben. He was a prolific and well-known artist and an exhibition of his work to mark the 10th anniversary of his death attracted more than 2,000 people.

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Mr Sills said: ''John was an amazingly prolific artist. He has a cult following but we also had a lot of new people who had not heard of him or met him and we sold hundreds of prints."

Mr Sills is putting together a collection of Mr Western's drawings, sketches and water colours in a book on the artist's fascination with barns. He said: ''One of John's favourite subjects was how Suffolk was changing. He had a real passion about old barns that were no longer used for agricultural purposes, and were left to collapse or decay. John went out of his way to draw or paint these once very familiar parts of the Suffolk countryside.''

In the early 1980s Mr Western heard about a barn being taken down in Mendlesham. He bought and re-erected this in his garden at Monewden, near Woodbridge, where it became his studio and gallery. The property is now owned by Mr Sills.

Mr Sills aims to publish the book to coincide with another exhibition of Mr Western's work next spring and he is appealing to anyone with the artist's pictures of barns to contact him on 01473 737467.

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