A heartbroken artist killed himself at the allotment he shared with his partner two years after she died suddenly.

Award-winning designer Graeme Gilmour was found dead in his car near Bear Road, Brighton, on the frosty morning of March 23 this year.

In the weeks leading up to his death the 48-year-old had sunk into depression, after his long-time partner Flo Foster died unexpectedly from a blood clot in October 2010.

Speaking after the inquest held in Brighton, his brother Neil Gilmour told The Argus the allotment had been a “special place” for the couple.

He said: “It was Flo’s thing, really, but Graeme decided to keep it because it was a connection back to her – even though he hated vegetables.

“Her death hit him hard so it made him feel happy being up there.

“When Flo died part of the wake was up at the allotment and she’s buried in the cemetery nearby. Now Graeme is buried right next to her. I’m sure it’s what he wanted.”

At the inquest into Mr Gilmour’s death, his flatmate Joseph Macfarlane told how the artist had fallen deeper into depression in the weeks before his suicide.

He said: “Graeme was a lovely bloke but he was so fed up about losing Flo and other things. It just built up and built up.

“On the night he died he came back to the flat with a bottle of vodka.

I thought we were going to have a party, but he just hugged me and said it was no one’s fault and that he’d found a nice place.

“I told him not to be daft but he walked out the door.”

Shrink wrap

When Mr Gilmour did not return, his worried flatmate called the police.

After a search, officers found Mr Gilmour dead in his car at the allotment the next morning, having been overcome by fumes.

He was found lying on the back seat wearing sunglasses, with music playing from the car radio.

In April, about 250 people gathered on Brighton beach to remember Mr Gilmour, who was well known in the city’s art scene and played key parts in numerous Brighton Festivals.

In 2004, Mr Gilmour used 12km of shrink wrap to wrap up the Brighton Dome, part of that year’s festival.

Mr Gilmour, who featured in The Argus many times, won the Olivier Award for best entertainment and a Critics’ Circle gong for best design for Shockheaded Pete, which has been described as an “instant classic” and “junk opera” in the arts world.