Tim Peak at the Amesbury Archer Primary School in 2007
As Tim Peak returns to earth I am about to go to press with my book about the Amesbury Archer’s adventures on his journey to Stonehenge. Long before Tim became an astronaut and travelled to the International Space Station I painted his portrait alongside that of the prehistoric Archer on the wall of the Amesbury Archer Primary School. Two extraordinary men, one who made a journey into the unknown 4300 years ago and the other an army test pilot who would one day travel into space.
The Amesbury Archer on the wall of the school
Funding for the work was given by Boscombe Down Airbase, where Tim was a test pilot. The Army wanted one of their men to be the subject of the painting to represent a contemporary equivalent of the Archer.
I met Tim when he came to the school for a morning. He’d drawn the short straw and had been dispatched to pose for me and the children while we made drawings. He joined in our workshop with humour and good grace as the children went to town with orange crayons for his hair!
Later I photographed him with his helmet and then went on to paint his portrait, first on paper and then onto the wall. As I worked I talked to the children who were full of questions about the Amesbury Archer: Where did he come from; Why did he make such a long journey? Someone needs to write a book about about his adventures I thought…
To Be published autumn 2016