Variations on an Enigma


Variations on an Enigma

While re-organising the garden studio I came across a file holding three photographs of Steve McQueen – two of them original posters from “The Thomas Crown Affair”. I began to hatch a scheme to base the much-needed redecoration of one of the guest bedrooms here at Larglea around the posters. I don’t need much of an excuse.

Then I began to think about McQueen himself and the character he played in “The Great Escape” – as shown in the photo above. In life, as in the film, he was enigmatic, irascible, hugely likeable, and could be very difficult to be around. Watching McQueen act, as a child of the 1960’s, I saw for the first time that moulds were there to be broken.


Researching the lives of several other enigmatic real-life men – I hope to wrestle into shape one fictional character. Some of these are known to me in person, some of them alive now, some not. One – Innes Ireland the racing driver, lived here at Larglea. All are equally memorable in spite of, and because of, their contradictory characteristics and behaviour. Variations on enigmatic.

McQueen’s portrayal of this character, and his life, showed us that authority is not necessarily to be obeyed..and barbed-wire is meant to be jumped.


Preferably on a motorbike.


About largelyhelen

Designer, photographer, writer.
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