skip navigation


Farewell, Ian W Guthrie (12.10.1935 - 26.12.2016)

Karen & her dad Ian pictured at 'Tomorrow, Today', NW Cambridge in 2014

Bye bye, Dad

My Dad Ian William Guthrie died in the early hours of Boxing Day, aged 81.

It's not something I'd normally post here, but he returned to playing an enormous part in my life in recent years, and I know many of you would want to know. Like my mum Ann, Ian too had suffered a stroke, but his left him largely without speech, and to be without his powers of communication proved almost unbearable for him. He survived 5 months, but as a much-diminished man.

Dad featured in a number of early Somewhere projects, such as the 1997 video installation Homespun, re-exhibited at Kettles Yard (Cambridge) in our 2014 retrospective.

Yet it was the success of our recent 'collaborative' film The Closer We Get that took both of us by surprise. I was even more surprised (and delighted) when he showed himself to be an ardent supporter of the film, despite its exposure of our family's hitherto private story and despite my putting 'on the record' what I really did make of him, good and bad. At any opportunity, Dad would come to film screenings and answer audience questions when they came up. He took what was sometimes rather sharp press criticism of him on the chin with great wisdom and humour, and was immensely proud of the film's success, and of me.
He showed that all families, any family, can survive a storm - as we did. And that he knew that speaking out didn't mean I loved him any less.

I made my choice to live my life as an artist even before I reached school aged four, but this always baffled him (an accountant by trade, albeit - I later realised - a very reluctant one). However, he never tried to stop me, seeing in his little redheaded daughter much of his own willfulness, tenacity and wanderlust.

As it turns out, the best accountants and artists need these characteristics in spades, so thanks Dad, for giving me them.

Happy Christmas from Somewhere

How can we ever tire of this picture from 2001's 'Pope & Guthrie's Recommended Dose' ?!

Sutton Hoo delve

Nina and I are working with the National Trust at the mo, on their re-thinking of one of the most iconic heritage sites in England, Sutton Hoo - a mecca for all lovers of the Anglo Saxons.

What an incredible archive there is there (and elsewhere too, as we are learning) of images of the digs throughout the centuries, and of the fascinating individuals who have been part of Sutton Hoo's story.....

Loved this picture of a ?70's archaeological team there!

Beijing friends, me, random lobster

Farewell China, we hope to be back.....

I'd a marvellous time in China thanks largely to Lulu (left) and Cherelle (centre) who put many hard hours into their iDOCS Documentary Forum at Beijing Film Academy. It was an unforgettable experience, to sit in the vast cinema listening to a whole new audience so far from Largs, laughing and crying.

The lobster - as far as I know - had nothing to do with the event.