MERSEYSIDE’s art scene was today mourning the death of talented sculptor Joe Bampton who was killed in an Egyptian hot air balloon crash.
Joe Bampton, 40, and his Hungarian-born partner Suzanna Gyetvai were on holiday in Luxor when the balloon they were in exploded at 1,000ft on Tuesday.
Mr Bampton, who grew up in Wallasey and attended St Mary’s college, was a sculptor and photographer whose work had formed part of exhibitions in Liverpool and London.
Nic Corke, owner of the Corke Art Gallery, in Aigburth Road, said Mr Bampton’s death was “a big loss”.
He added: “He will be greatly missed in the creative community in Liverpool.
“His work was thoughtful and challenging, it was creative and there was always something more behind it.
“It is a real shock – he was a really nice man.”
Mr Bampton and Ms Gyetvai, 34, known by her artist name Zsi Chimera, lived in Clapham, south-west London, and the couple both worked for antiques dealer Lots Road Auctions, in Chelsea.
Auctioneer Nick Carter said: “It’s like losing a brother, not just a colleague or friend.
“It is pretty gut-wrenching. Joe was a lovely person, very laid back and very calm.
“Zsi was different to Joe in some ways. She was very direct and headstrong. They made great companions.”