A painting of the heroine aviatrix pilot of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), 22-year-old Molly Rose, whose incredible story features in the new book Attagirls was officially unveiled at The RAF Club, Piccadilly, London.
The novel ‘Attagirls’ dramatizes the story of Molly Rose, one of the youngest female pilots of the ATA, the civilian organisation tasked with ferrying thousands of military aircraft the length and breadth of the UK during WWII, working tirelessly in support of RAF operations. Her ‘courage under pressure’ approach typified the civilian ATA pilots, and is an inspiration to young women today.
The Attagirls novel was written by Paul Olavesen-Stabb of Aetheris Films and was adapted as a screenplay by Paul and his business partner RAF Squadron Leader (RTD) Andrew Rawcliffe. The duo spent many hours researching the story in the library of the RAF Club Library and commissioned the painting by iconic British artist Jeremy Houghton as a thank you.
Said Paul: “I first heard about the ATA around three years ago and quickly decided that their incredible “untold story”, in particular that of the 150 female pilots, deserved to be told to a wider audience in a feature film and a novel. The RAF Club’s extensive library and incredible art collection provided a wonderful source of information and inspiration and meeting a number of Club members helped to bring the story alive. The RAF Club’s raison d’être is synonymous with the story of Molly Rose and the ATA - love of country and courage under pressure.
He continued: “It is therefore our honour to present to The RAF Club a token of gratitude; a painting of Molly Rose created by one of most wonderful British artists that we know… Jeremy Houghton. The image of Molly conjures up the very Spirit of Freedom which was the code of the ATA, and which is apparent throughout the Club itself. We are delighted that the painting has found a place on the Club’s hallowed walls amongst the company of friends.”
Aetheris Films is seeking co-production partners for the creation of the film. The book Attagirls is selling well in bookshops and is also available as an e-book and audio book.
Jeremy Houghton, Artist
Artist in Residence Jeremy Houghton paints portraits, journeys, sport and adventure to explore the essence of motion, favouring themes of light, space, movement and time. The subjects that characterise these scenes are illuminated by his focus on the spaces in which bodies linger, shimmer, move and often take flight.
Over the last twenty years he has been invited to detail the life of a number of high-profile communities, from those at Windsor Castle and Highgrove to 2017’s Wimbledon championships, and the competitors at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. With each of these projects Jeremy is interested in getting beyond public perception, documenting instead the everyday scenes that characterise an event or place.
Although Jeremy’s focus and style ranges quite widely, his technique remains a constant. Emphasis on painted shapes of light and space, contrasting against areas of bold colour enables his subjects to glimmer in the liminal territory between figuration and abstraction. Often with extraneous detail removed, the paintings are hard to place, giving them a timeless quality that serves to underline their fluidity.