JH Lynch in Kalk Bay

 I’m no expert on art and I’m no expert on JH Lynch. I discovered the mystery artist quite by mistake in Kalk Bay. You really shouldn’t walk into Big Blue if you set out that morning planning not to buy anything except a cup of coffee or an ice-cream. I ended up buying a set of 6 coasters for R120.00 that reminded me of the Roman Noir covers I’d been perusing while doing research for a new thriller. My latest character is a bit of a femme fatale herself and there was something reminiscent about these women; as if they were all part of dream encounters I’d been sorry to leave behind.

Without really thinking about it I commented how amazing (I meant mesmerizing) the women’s faces on the coasters were. The shop assistant at the cash till said the artist was somebody Lynch. Did you say David Lynch? I asked, mishearing. No, she said, giving me a quick look, realising I didn’t actually have any idea. That’s how I discovered JH Lynch, right there in Kalk Bay, the atmospheric seaside town where Anthony Loxton hijacked my imagination one dark night long after midnight, resulting in The Good Cemetery Guide. There’s something about the place; I always seem to find something I don’t even know I’m looking for. No, for the record, I don’t live there. I just pass through occasionally. That’s the nature of our relationship and it suits us both. Neither of us gets bored with the other that way.

So now I have three of JH Lynch’s fabulous femme fatales gracing my header after months of sitting on my desk lending me inspiration.  When the right energy was lacking I’d shuffle them between my hands like tarot cards, marvelling at the full-lipped seductive power of those expressive faces – women with a certain bring-it-on laissez-faire attitude to love.


QI: JH Lynch’s pictures appeared in Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange. Did they epitomise kitsch? Or did Kubrick employ their temptress power on a subliminal level to draw us into his game? Rumours persist that JH Lynch was a woman.

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