Rex Cowgill

These two silhouettes were probably cut on the pier at Eastbourne, where I know Rex Cowgill worked for a while. His technique is interesting in that he highlights his work with white chalk rather than the more usual bronze. In fact, looking at the way the white chalk disappears off the edge of the paper I almost get the feeling that he drew the white lines first..... but of course not, that would have been cheating, wouldn't it?

Sil of lady by Rex (29K Jpeg) Gentleman Sil by Rex (27K Jpeg)

Unknown Lady and Gentleman by Rex Cowgill, 1930's?

In the first half of the twentieth century there were many artists working on seaside piers all over the country. As well as Eastbourne, the piers at Brighton, Southend, Llandudno, and Blackpool have all at one time or other been home to silhouettists. Sadly, this tradition has completely diesd out now, but I still meet people who had their profiles "taken" in their childhood by artists like Rex, and today vainly look at the seaside in the hope of finding a silhouettists for their children or grandchildren.

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©Charles Burns/ Edo Barn Site/ page was first created in September 1997 and last updated August 2012