Iggy Rose was one of Syd Barrett's girlfriends in 1969.
She is most famous for being the model on the Syd Barrett album: 'The Madcap Laughs'.
Nicknamed Iggy the Eskimo, it was rumoured she was part Inuit.
One day, in 1969, she disappeared out of Syd's life and was not heard of ever since.
Almost four decades later, the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit started to mess with things.
Its five years mission: to find Iggy and bring her back to the spotlights.
And guess what, with some invaluable help from many, many friends... we did...
At the end of March 2015 the Church closed its doors, although the search for new pictures and movies still continues.
Our Tumblr microblog iggyinuit.tumblr.com and its social equivalent
facebook.com/iggyinuit are still (daily) updated and really
important news will be added as a Newsflash.
Beginning 2017 Iggy Rose decided to leave social media. She died peacefully on the 13th of December 2017,
just before her seventieth birthday. Wishing you good luck, Iggy, wherever you are.
A remarkable story could be found on the 16th of August 2018 in The
Anglo-Celt, a weekly local newspaper published in Swellan (Cavan,
Ireland). Written by Seamus Enright and bearing the title 'Antique
shop dealer’s brush with luck' it tells how a local antique
dealer bought a €50 (approx. £45 or $58) painting that turned out to be
a Syd Barrett original from 1964, missing since 1994.
Maggie Matthews from the aptly named 'Junk'
store in Virginia (Cavan, Ireland) went to one of Dublin's weekly
'bric-a-brac' auctions and was attracted by a painting of a young girl.
It was her eyes that drew me in. She was sitting on a table, filthy and
covered in dust, as if you weren’t supposed to see her really.
Maggie bought the painting and put it in her shop, with a €100 price
tag. When a customer told her he found the portrait disturbing, she
decided to have a closer look at it. At the bottom right side it was
signed by a Roger Barrett, dated: 12-2-64, at the backside the
painter had left his name and address:
R.K. Barrett 183 HILLS ROAD CAMBRIDGE
She decided to Google
the name and almost fell from her chair when she found out there were
over 9 million results. Clearly this wasn't an ordinary bloke.
New car, caviar
It didn't take too long for Maggie Matthews to realise she was sitting
on something unique... and potentially valuable.
It’s the kind of thing you read about in newspapers or online. As an
person interested in antiques and art, it’s the sort of thing you
secretly dream of happening, but never dare believe it will.
Painted two days before Valentine, Maggie Matthews believed at first it
was a painting of Barrett's girlfriend Libby Gausden, but that doesn't
seem to be the case. At the Birdie
Hop Facebook group, where the find was obviously discussed, Libby
reacted that she has 'no idea' who could be the young woman. Another
member of the sixties beatnik Cambridge mob and a painter as well, Mick
Brown, has about the same to say: “I wouldn't know...”
As usual the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit has its own idea. The woman
on the painting could simply be a model from the academy. What we have
is not a picture of his beloved girlfriend, but a school assignment. In
late 1961 Barrett followed evening classes in life drawing at the School
of Art. He would enter that school the next year, until 1964. In
September 1964 he left for London to go to Camberwell Art College, but
instead of taking a brush in his hand, he picked a guitar. We all know
how that ended.
Lambs thrown to the Lions
But before making the great leap forward towards the capital city, he
and his pal Anthony
Stern had an exhibition entitled 'Two Young Painters' at the Lion
and Lamb pub in Milton. It was held between 29 May and 25 June and
as usual different people tell different stories, some say Barrett may
have sold at least one painting, others claim nothing came out of it.
What we can be sure of is that the exhibition was reviewed by journalist
Anthony Day in Cambridge News, titled Milton Art Display.
Barrett's work shows some of the advantages of an art school training.
His prints, monotypes and drawings are slight but necessary student
exercises but in two still-lives and two convincing portraits, he is
already showing himself a sensitive handler of oil paint who wisely
limits his palette to gain richness and density. (Holy Church Tumblr
link to the article: Milton
Portrait of a Girl could well have been one of the more 'convincing'
paintings at the show. We don't know what happened with the painting
after the exhibition, but luckily a (pretty bad) black and white picture
of it exists. It was published in a 1994 Record Collector when it was
announced the portrait was auctioned for £880. Unfortunately it
immediately disappeared for a second time, until last week.
In their Barrett
art catalogue, Russel Beecher and Will Shutes write:
His Portrait of a Girl, sold in auction in 1994 but not seen since its
reproduction in Record Collector, November 1994, p. 121, reveals to an
extent – despite the poor image available – the sensitive handling of
oils to which [Anthony] Day refers.
Maggie Matthews has some nice things to say as well:
Even at that young age you can see his talent as an artist developing.
He really caught her without over-working it too much, and I actually
love that she’s not trying to look good for the artist. I love too that
he hasn’t tried to flatter her. I find it very honest.
Sydiots and other folk
A photo of The Anglo-Celt front page was put on the Syd
Barrett Fan Page (Facebook) by Paul McCann, minutes later it landed
Hop and was immediately discussed by Sydiots and Barrett brides
Mark Jones, photo archivist at the official Syd Barrett website, had the
following to say:
So someone bought it for £880 20 years ago, knowing it was by Syd, and
then must have 'lost' sight of it and it turns up for sale for £50?
Clay Jordan replied:
I was thinking perhaps the person who bought it passed away and the
people who dealt with the belongings didn't know what it was.
Unless it was stolen?
Others thought it could be a fake, made to fool collectors. People have
been faking $10,000 Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett records before (see: Scream
Thy False Scream), but it seems a bit ridiculous to duplicate this
relatively unknown portrait and then sell it for €50. Gid Giddoni
compared both pictures and concluded:
It might be very well the exact same artwork portrayed in the 1964
photo. (…) If you look at the nose, you'll see the exact same shape.
Same for the mouth / chin. I would give it 95% possibility to be the
Maggie Matthews contacted Will Shutes who said it is nearly doubtless it
is the original, although further investigation might be necessary. The
Barrett family was contacted and although Rosemary Breen does not
recognise the painting she has said that the handwriting on the back
looks like Roger's indeed.
Birdie Hop and Late
Night members certainly will have their say as well about the
signature and handwriting on the canvas, looking more authentic than the
fake Barrett poem that was once auctioned for £2,160 (see: Bonhams
Sells Fake Barrett Poem). At least one collector has already shown
interest in acquiring the painting, so let's just hope it doesn't
disappear again, for a third time. Maggie Matthews:
Amazingly, this is one of those unique crossover finds that’s of
interest to both to art lovers and music aficionados. It’s exciting!
Our Tumblr image gallery will publish even more pictures, the
next couple of days, including a scan of the Anglo-Celt article: Portrait
of a Girl.
All Maggie Matthews quotes and pictures in this post have been taken
from The Anglo-Celt online article: Antique
shop dealer’s brush with luck. Newspaper frontpage picture
taken and send to the Church by Maggie Matthews. The 1964 Anthony
Stern & Roger Barrett exhibition where this portrait may have been
and Lamb, 1964.
Many thanks to: Birdie Hop, Seamus Enright, Libby Gausden, Gid Giddoni,
Alex Peter Hoffmann, Penny Hyrons, Mark Jones, Clay Jordan, Maggie
Matthews, Paul McCann, Göran Nyström. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (other than the above internet links): Beecher, Russell &
Shutes, Will: Barrett, Essential Works Ltd, London, 2011, p. 174-175. Blake,
Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 32.