Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

Last of the few

To mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force, a special portrait has been created by artist Jeremy Houghton of the four remaining airmen who flew in Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancasters during WWII. The portrait, along with another of the seven remaining bomber airmen and other works, is currently on tour, with the exhibition culminating in a silent auction for charity.
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Jeremy Houghton is a British painter whose work attempts to capture movement. For the centenary of the Royal Air Force, Jeremy has been tracking down and sketching the remaining airmen who flew in Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancasters during WWII. He has created a group picture of the four surviving fighter pilots who flew on the Battle of Britain entitled ‘The Last of the Few’, and a group picture of the seven remaining bomber airmen entitled ‘The Last of the Many’.

Both these pictures are being silent auctioned this summer, with 100% of the proceeds from the sale going towards RAF Air Cadets. These portraits, accompanied by further historic aviation works, will tour various galleries.

At the request of ‘The Last of the Few’ (Wing Commander ‘Tim’ Elkington, Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum, Wing Commander Thomas Neil and Wing Commander Paul Caswell Farnes), this group portrait was drawn simply with pencil, “to keep it simple, with no unnecessary frills or decoration”. This unique picture is being auctioned in aid of RAF Air Cadets through the Coachmaker’s Charitable Trust.
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The Last of the Few - by Jeremy Houghton
All images copyright Jeremy Houghton
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Profile: Jeremy Houghton
Jeremy’s career has been marked by contrasting experiences and places (he studied in France and then worked for a number of years in South Africa). As well as a long-standing commitment to the countryside, Jeremy’s work spans a broad spectrum – from the arresting drama of dynamic sports to the quiet, unhurried pace of traditional rural life.
Since he began to paint full-time in the mid-2000s, he has divided his practice between creating standalone pieces in the studio using reference photographs and sketches, and producing work via documentary residences. Over the last ten years he has been invited to detail the life of a number of high-profile communities, from those at Windsor Castle and Highgrove to last year’s Wimbledon Championships, and the competitors at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. With each of these projects, Jeremy is interested in getting beyond public perception, documenting instead the everyday scenes that characterise an event or place.
Although Jeremy’s focus ranges quite widely, his technique remains a constant. His precise deployment of areas of white canvas, or unpainted paper, against areas of liquid colour enables his subjects to shimmer in the liminal territory between figuration and abstraction. With extraneous detail removed, the paintings are also hard to place, giving them an ahistorical quality that serves to underline their fluidity.

Artist in residence – recent
2017 Championship Artist, Wimbledon
2016–17 Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing, America’s Cup
2016 Official Artist for the James Hunt Estate
2015 Goodwood for the Earl of March
2014 Windsor Castle for Her Majesty The Queen
2013 Highgrove for His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales

Tour Artist for the Aston Martin Centenary Tour
essence info
To place a silent bid for either ‘The Last of the Few’ or ‘The Last of the Many’, please visit
The current highest bid is £25,000. The auction will close on 15 July 2018.