Eric was born in Johannesburg in 1952. In January 1987, during the process of applying for British permanent residence, he received a reference addressed to the British government from the late Dr. Ian Player, co-founder of The Wilderness Leadership School (wildernesstrails.org.za) and brother of Gary. In this letter Dr Player expressed his belief that Eric would be able to sustain himself and family in the UK working as an artist.
In June 2017 he received a letter from the British government announcing that, officially, he was about to ‘retire’. His spontaneous thought was ‘That’s what you think you bureaucratic (add the obvious alliterative profanity), I’m only warming up’. He thought of Louise Bourgeois who did her best work in her seventies and eighties. He also thought of Hokusai who started his series of 36 Mount Fuji paintings at the age of seventy, and who on his deathbed eighteen years later, announced that his only regret to dying was that he had still so much to learn about painting. Eric understands this sentiment exactly. The fact is that the list of artists who continue to paint well over the age of sixty five is endless. Retirement is but one more myth created by our species.
This is his eleventh Fortingall Exhibition and his decision to present these five Golden Eagles was based on two ideas. Firstly, because he can and secondly, and more importantly, the hope that those who harm these magnificent creatures through egg collection and poison may think again.
Eric believes, he hopes without sounding smug, that he has justified and will continue to justify Dr Player’s faith in him.