Dr Russ Harris 

My partner Philip Heard was interested in design and architecture, I was interested in art and music. When we got together, there was an osmosis. Initially I thought ‘Who was Eileen Gray?’, Phil thought  ‘Who was Francis Bacon?’. After sixteen years together we both knew who they were. The drawback was that a teapot was not just a teapot, a chair was not just a chair. Any shopping trip turned into an analysis of the pouring abilities of the pot, and the angle of inclination when reclining in the chair.

When Phil died six years ago, our friend Angela Maddock suggested funding a prize or award in his memory. I was enthusiastic, as it seemed such a positive thing to do following bereavement. Initially I approached Swansea Metropolitan University, then I started to discuss the idea with Jane and Amanda at  Mission Gallery. Sadly Jane’s illness meant that the award did not materialise.

Recently, Amanda suggested re-visiting the idea, with me becoming a patron of the Jane Phillips Award. I cannot think of a more fitting souvenir of Phil my soulmate, and Jane my friend. Maybe they are sharing a cuppa on the other side, poured from a particularly well designed teapot of course.

June 2011

Dr. Mary Ellis & Mr Malcolm McGeoch

Malcolm and I are delighted to support the Jane Phillips Award. In doing so we celebrate, not only her drive and talent, but also for me, a wonderful friendship of over 50 years.

My friend Jane, the child aged 3 I played with in Thistleboon, the girl I rode ponies with on the Mumbles Hill, the teenager I travelled to Paris with for the Cezanne exhibition, the girl I shared a lifetime of confidences and laughter with and the talented woman who worked her magic to ensure Mission Gallery blossomed into that marvellous mix of commercial success and a wonderfully exciting showcase for young and emerging artistic talent.

July 2011

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