A Hunt for Clues About Sutton Artist Elva Blacker


Elva Blacker, an artist and Sutton resident, died in 1984 but now her great niece is making it her life’s work to uncover further clues in a bid to both ensure Elva’s legacy and continue her charitable work. 


Image credit: RAF Museum

As an artist, Elva was most successful in water-colour. Her prominence in the Sutton community in the 1930’s is documented, with theatrical friends such as Dame Lillian Bayliss and Dame Sybil Thorndike, which were made through her connection with the ‘Old Vic’ theatre.

Whilst Blacker was a prominent member of the Sutton community, she was also an avid traveller. In the 1950’s she spent an extended period in the United States and developed a love of creating animal portraits – a passion reflected in her lifelong vegetarianism! She even toured the Far East extensively producing landscape paintings and portraits.

However, it was her time during WW2, when she was a Motor Transport Driver and then Fighter Command at Biggin Hill that has afforded Elva such profile. During down time Elva would create portraits of personnel. As a result, she produced a record of life on an RAF station which it was hard to equal and has had work exhibited in the Royal Air Force Museum, as well as currently having work on show at Biggin Hill.

To share information about Elva and her life or to donate, visit: www.elva-blacker.muchloved.com