Sybil Andrews

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Women artists: Sybil Andrews

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Sybil Andrews (19 April 1898 – 21 December 1992) was an English printmaker best known for her modernist linocuts.

Life in England

Born Sybal Andrews in Bury St Edmunds, Andrews was unable to attend art school after finishing secondary school as her family lacked the funds to pay for tuition. Andrews first apprenticed as a welder and worked at an airplane factory during World War I, where she helped in the development of the first all-metal aeroplane for the Bristol Welding Company.During this period she took an art correspondence course and after the war returned to Bury St Edmunds where she was employed as an art teacher at Portland House School. In 1922 Andrews attended Heatherley’s School of Fine Art in London. She began producing and exhibiting linocuts from 1921 until 1939, working frequently with her informal partner Cyril Power. She also helped in the establishment and became the first secretary (1925–1928) of the The Grosvenor School of Modern Art. With the beginning of World War II, Andrews resumed work as a welder for the British Power Company, constructing warships. Here she met Walter Morgan, whom she married in 1943.

In England one of the largest collections in public ownership is held by St Edmundsbury Borough Council Heritage Service Bury St Edmunds. This collection includes a number of early water-colour paintings, executed while the artist was still living in Suffolk.

Life in Canada

In 1947 she and Morgan moved to Canada and settled in Campbell River, British Columbia. Sybil Andrews was elected to the Society of Canadian Painters, Etchers and Engravers in 1951 when her linocut Indian Dance” was selected as the presentation print. In 1975 while working as a teacher and focusing on her practice she completed one of her major works”The Banner of St Edmund.” It is hand embroidered in silks on linen and was first conceived, designed and begun in 1930. This banner now hangs in the Treasury of the St James Cathedral in the town of her birth.

The Glenbow Museum in Canada houses the majority of her work with a collection of over 1000 examples of Andrews’ works, including all of her famous colour linocuts and the original linoleum blocks, oil paintings and watercolour, drawings, drypoint etchings, sketchbooks, and personal papers. In recent years her works have sold extremely well at auction with record prices being achieved primarily within Canada.

In 2015 an exhibition was held at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Canada, “A Study in Contrast: Sybil Andrews and Gwenda Morgan”, comparing and contrasting the fellow Grosvenor School artists.

List of works

Source:

You Tube video

Wikipedia

Clifford S Ackley ed British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life 1914-1947 Thames and Hudson 2008

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