Ernest Sidney Philpot was a painter, signwriter and poster artist. Born in Walthamstow in Essex, he arrived in Western Australia in 1913 with his parents. Schooling was undertaken in Toodyay and Northam. He was apprenticed to a painter, decorator and sign writer in 1921 and started his own business in 1926, moving to Perth in 1929. He studied art part time in the evenings. In 1930 he joined the West Australian Society of Arts and exhibited with them from 1934 to 1953. His exhibits in 1934 were the watercolours Old Comrade and The Blue Bowl. In 1936 he exhibited eight oil paintings including a portrait.
In 1937 Philpot won a share in a lottery and moved to Melbourne to study at the National Gallery School under Charles Wheeler and W. B. McInnes. While in Melbourne he exhibited an oil painting The Garden Path with the Victorian Artists Society. During WWII he enlisted in the Survey Corps. After the war he exhibited with the Western Australian Society of Arts in 1949. He was a member of the Perth Society of Artists and President exhibiting with them from 1946. His 1950 exhibit was an oil painting titled Ballet Fantastique. In 1953 he had four paintings hung. In 1948 he won the Hotchin Prize and in 1952 the Inaugural Perth Prize for Landscape at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. He was commissioned to undertake murals at various hospitals. In 1957 he became Art Master at Wesley College following Wim Boissevain. He taught until 1968 and was art critic for the Sunday Times between 1961-1965. In 1959 he exhibited in London with five others and in 1960 he held a solo show in London.