Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship, an exhibition at Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery, is set to explore the influence of Eric Ravilious and his circle, and their impact on British visual culture during the 1930s.
Based on new research, Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship shines a spotlight on the work of Ravilious and his personal and professional relationships with artists including Paul Nash, John Nash, Enid Marx, Barnett Freedman, Tirzah Garwood, Edward Bawden, Thomas Hennell, Douglas Percy Bliss, Peggy Angus, Helen Binyon and Diana Low.
Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship brings together over 400 paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, engravings, books ceramics, wallpapers and textiles created during the interwar years. The exhibition highlights key moments in the artists’ lives and work, from first meeting at the Royal College of Art to the evolution of their artistic practices into commercial and industrial design during the turbulent times of the 1930s and 1940s.
Imbued with a tangible sense of time and place, Ravilious’ watercolours and wood engravings offer a unique portrait of England as the first half of the 20th century began to draw to a close. This major exhibition celebrates the creativity of Ravilious and that of his closest friends. It brings to life the significant relationships and collaborations within one of the most widely influential – though largely unexplored – networks of English artist designers of the twentieth century to tell a remarkable story of creative achievement, joy, and ultimately, tragedy.
Marking the 75th anniversary of the Ravilious’ tragic death in Iceland during the Second World War, the exhibition has been curated by Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne and Andy Friend, author of a new biography, Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship, published earlier this year by Thames & Hudson.
Andy said, “we are truly fortunate that the generosity of over seventy public and private lenders has allowed us to fully explore the versatility and vitality of this fascinating group of artist designers. Many items have not been seen since the 1930s and it is particularly exciting to be able to show striking work by hitherto lesser known women artists alongside a wealth of better known works by Ravilious, Bawden and the Nash brothers.”
Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship at the Millennium Gallery continues until 7 January 2018. Entry to the exhibition is free.