Studio International

Published 29/03/2016

Three Generations: Passing on the Eyton drive

As they prepare for their first exhibition showing together as a family, Anthony Eyton RA and his sculptor daughter Jane reflect on the enduring influence of Anthony’s mother Phyllis, a painter, who died in a riding accident when he was a child

At nearly 93 years of age, Anthony Eyton RA is still painting every day. Art is clearly something that runs in his genes, as his mother, Phyllis, was a painter, and his three daughters – Jane, Clare and Sarah – are all artists in their own right, too.

Phyllis, who died in a riding accident in 1929 when Eyton was just six years old, trained for two years at the Heatherley School of Fine Art, now in Chelsea, then in Pimlico. Eyton, a regular attendee of Heatherley’s events, has worked together with the school to pull together an exhibition showcasing the art of three generations of his family: Phyllis, Anthony, Jane, Clare and Sarah. Although Phyllis was the only student there – at a time when Heatherley’s was in the vanguard of women’s art education, having admitted them on an equal footing to men, even in the life class, from its very beginning in 1845 – both Jane and Anthony have taught either at the school, or some of its tutors, thus continuing the familial link. It is appropriate, therefore, that this special exhibition should be hosted there.

Studio International sat in on Eyton and Jane as they reminisced about family memories and bi-directional artistic influences.

Three Generations: A Family Exhibition
The Heatherley School of Fine Art, London
5 – 8 April 2016

Interview by ANNA McNAY
Filmed by WILLIAM KENNEDY