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From Russia, Captain of 1st Rank (ret) Igor Kozyr

Gangut_logo_red.jpgAn enquiry arrived last week from Russia re Convoy PQ 13Convoy_PQ19_attacked_by_JU_88__s.JPG

An interesting example of the growing historical worth of The Art of Gordon Frickers, a picture painted about 1993 from an eye witness account and a good story in its self.

With Captain Kozyr’s kind permission I will share here with you some of our recent correspondence.

Gangut_logo_blue.jpgDear Mr. Frickers,

I found your site accidently looking for information about convoy PQ-13. What is a reason for my curiousity?

I’m editor in chief of the publishing house Gangut (www.gangut.su) specialized in the maritime history and at the same time I’m vice-president of the Arctic Convoy veteran’s organization. At the moment we are going in cooperation with the US Consulate General to publish the book Frozen Fury by John Haynes – the US Armed Guard veteran participated convoy PQ-13 onboard SS Eldena. It’s non-commercial project because 50% copies will be distributed among veterans and youth organization free of charge.

I guess that a copy of the painting “PQ-13, Arctic Convoy” would be the most appropriate to be placed on the jacket.

Seems that it’s only painting of this convoy made by eye-witness.

May I ask you to rejoin this project devoted to the coming 70th Anniversary of the first allied convoy Dervish arriving to Russia in this form in a form of contribution a digitized copy of this painting? Presentation of this book will be a part of the Dervish-2011 Fest in St Petersburg in beginning of September.

Respectfully yours,

Captain of 1st Rank (ret) Igor Kozyr

~

I replied as follows:

Dear Captain Kozyr,

Thank you for your very interesting enquiry.

I would be happy and honoured to support your publication.

I have a profound respect for Russian efforts during WW 2.

As you suggested I have had a look at your web site which I found fascinating and will ask my web master to do the same.

I am aware there are many close historical links between Russian and British sea men.

I noticed the following statement which is entirely in accord with the aims of http://www.frickers.co.uk/ – “The purpose of “Gangut” is popularization history of navy, of shipbuilding development, elucidation of the heroic pages of the Russian navy and fleets of other countries, stories about outstanding seamen, shipbuilders and the ships. “Gangut” successfully works today”.

I am very aware that among the qualities of my paintings are included their worth as historical documents often made from eye witness reports as is the case here with PQ 13.

You may be aware I have just completed the first ever Marine Art exhibition at and by invitation from the European Parliament?

My host wrote “In each of the paintings that are Frickers’ work we find

a theme, sometimes great, sometimes small, there is

inevitably a story about us and the people who labored

to shape our modern world.

Frickers is an ambassador today and for future

generations for our marine world. I recommend The Art

of Gordon Frickers as exceptional, a joy to own and a

sound investment”.

Normally there is a fee of £250 for the use of a picture like this however given the explanation expressed in your text below I have an alternative suggestion for your consideration.

I would like to support your project, although I hope you appreciate for an artist making some money is essential including to support the freedom to create more interesting pictures.

However there are things you could offer aside from money that would help my work.

  1. The picture could appear with a link on your web site to my web site (and we can give your site a link). You probably know incoming links help with search engine ratings?
  2. A credit in the book including my web site address. You might like to include the story that lead to the creation of this painting? Some where I still have the notes and letters written by the gentleman concerned who was very please to arrive alive although badly injured in Russia!
  3. A complimentary copy of the book, ideally signed by yourself.
  4. I’d also like to add the gist of your email and a story about your book to my blog and web site. That could be useful publicity for your book too.
  5. Together we could write a profile on my work for inclusion in one of your publications, the only marine artist to have been invited to exhibit at the European Parliament (May 2011) and the only artist who is a member of the British Marine Federation.

If you have other or alternative suggestions kindly tell me, thank you.

It is a privilege of my work to often make very interesting friends through The Art of Gordon Frickers, any introductions you care to send me will be most welcome.

Wishing you good sailing,

Kind regards,

Gordon Frickers, Marine Artist.

~

Dear Mr. Frickers,

You really impressed me with your reasonable suggestions and with evident sense of maritime brotherhood.

It’s very typical for those who has close relations with Arctic Convoys veterans. I’m accepted your proposal with open heart and growing enthusiasm.

1. Send me please your logo to add it to other friendly-links directly to gangutprint@nullyandex.ru (I do it in person, so operation takes about10-15 minutes).

2. I have a special permission from the author and the US Publishing house to add appropriate documents to the book. It’s interesting that during my cooperation with Arctic Convoys veterans I made friends with 3 men participated PQ-13 (Raymond Ball, HMS Trinidad; Pietur Olaffson, Ballot and Anatoly Lifshits, who served at soviet destroyer Gremyashy). Where is a small part told the story of “New Westminster City” in the Frozen Fury, and would be interesting to use recollections of her crewmen.

3. No doubt that you get a copy signed by author (John Haynes will be in St Petersburg for the Dervish-2011 Festivity). may be it’s possible for you – to rejoin British delegation? I can recommend you to Gordon Long, the Honorary Chairman of the Russian Convoys Club.

4. I believe that all my friends veterans will be pleased to hear about our new friend among artists. May be you were familiar to Commander Collin Macmillan, he served at HMS Beagle escorted some Russian Convoys and later became quite famous painter and Honorary Secretary of the Russian Convoys Club. He passed away but he won forever our hearts with his talent and personality.

5. We’ll be happy introduce your works to our audience, you can recon on 20,000 signs for a profile on your work and 4 type rage incolor plus a cover.

I’m thinking also about your exibit in St Petersburg, Arctic Convoys has close relations with local authorities, maritime community and Marine Consulate of St Petersburg directed by our governor Valentina Matvienko.

Cordially yours,

Igor Kozyr

~

I replied as follows:

Dear Captain Kozyr,

Thank you for this detailed reply which I had better copy to my web master Dr. Michael Baker.

Michael and I have been friends since we were 9 years old.

He has the logo copy.

If you agree, I will also mention this to Mr. Brian Simpson for reasons given below plus he may have ideas to contribute.

Purely by the way, you may like to know Michael’s Mother commissioned a painting of HMS Formidable. Her husband severed on Formidable first servicing aircraft, later as a pilot.

You may know of this renowned ship which saw a lot of action including on some Russian convoys?

My painting shows Formidable in her Mediterranean colours and is available as a print.

My host at the European Parliament Exhibition the MEP Brain Simpson also had a father on Formidable so he will be very interested to learn of our connection.

Your idea of an exhibition in St Petersburg sounds exciting.

If Arctic Convoys has a favourable response from your local authorities, maritime community and Marine Consulate of St Petersburg, governor Valentina Matvienko then can discuss details.

The cost will be the principal problem.

I could not finance this alone at present.

However, between us we may be able to find funds for such a good example of Russian /American/ British co operation or an unothodox solution.

I could even look at making one or 2 very special paintings and ideas like presenting one to your authorities and prints for sale to help an appropriate charity possibly signed by appropriate people like the mayor of St Petersburg.

Kind regards,

Gordon Frickers

~

Dear Gordon,

I wish you all the best from our office with a set of our logos (use what you like best of all).

Tomorrow I’ll meet President of the Arctic Convoys Club Captain Yury Alexandrov and we’ll discuss how we can be helpful to organize your exibit in St Petersburg, may be in cooperation with our Maritime Painters Association.

Respectfully yours,

Editor in chief
Igor Kozyr

St Petersburg, Bol’shaya Monetnaya 16, office 36
Phone/Fax +7(812)336-5024,
www.gangut.su

~

This story is on going, for example, will I still have the origianl notes made with Mr. M.O. Mills (now deceased) when the painting was being created?

What happened to the painting afer Mr. Mills died?

We know it was available for sale last August 2009 but where is it now?

Watch out for the next post on New Westminster City and Convoy PQ 13.