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Sybil Andrews

Sybil Andrews

Sybil Andrews’s interest in art began whilst working as an oxyacetylene airline welder in the First World War. During this time she took John Hassall’s* art correspondent course which introduced her to a number of different artistic media, and set her on the path towards a career as an artist. After the War she returned to her birthplace, Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk. Here she met Cyril Power who would influence her work, and with whom she would share a workshop for much of her early working life. Cyril Power and Sybil Andrews were colleagues who would later collaborate on commissions from The London Passenger Transport Board, and they would jointly sign their work with the pseudonym ‘Andrew Power’.

Wishing to pursue her interests in art Sybil Andrews enrolled at Heatherley’s School of Fine Art, London. Here she explored relief printing, particularly woodcut printing, under the tutelage of William Kermode. But it was not until she became school secretary and attended Claude Flight’s linocut classes at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art that Sybil Andrews really found her métier, and she quickly became another acolyte (see Artists Lill Tschudi / Cyril Power) of Flight’s enthusiasm for the colour linocut.

In approach, Sybil Andrewslinocuts evidence an assimilation of the formal language as taught by Flight. Linocuts are produced by a successive pressing of separately carved linoleum blocks, each differentially coloured, onto paper; and as such they are not that different to wood or metal blocks pressed onto paper. But, whereas up until that point printmakers had often used many blocks and sought to create an effect which mimicked works in watercolour and oil painting, Flight taught that it was better to use fewer blocks (typically only three or four). He argued that in so doing, the process of creation could itself became evident, and that this transparency was important. Another innovation of Flight’s - and one which is now recognised as characteristic of the Grosvenor School prints as a whole - was the abandonment of a key block. Before Flight (and for all Japanese woodblock prints, and indeed for most European woodcut prints) a key block was almost always used. This block provided structure and a black outline for the main shapes in the print. But Flight soon found this unnecessary and obtrusive, and argued that the key block served only to interrupt and divide the colours in such a way as to detract from the overall harmoniousness of the print.

Whilst Sybil Andrews’ works evidence this assimilation of Flight’s formal language, they often depart from a depiction of the kinds of subjects – the dynamism of the modern world, its concern with speed and with technological advances – that Flight encouraged. Instead, Sybil Andrews more often sought to capture the rhythms and living movements of the human figure. She explored various sporting activities to this end, including football, horseback riding and motorcycle racing, as also activities associated with men’s physical work (see Football 1937; Racing 1934, and Speedway 1934 and The Winch 1930).

During the Second World War Sybil Andrews worked in a shipyard where she met her husband, and soon after (1947) the couple emigrated to the remote logging town of Campbell River on Vancouver Island, Canada. En route to her new home blocks for several of her prints partially melted in the over-hot hold of the ship. But she experienced no such misfortune to her artistic career when she arrived in Canada: there she achieved, at least at first, a large following which lasted well into the 1950’s. In the ‘60’s she fell into obscurity, but was rediscovered in the 1970’s. She died in 1992 leaving a body of work totalling almost 80 linocuts. Since then Sybil Andrews’ work has met with wide critical acclaim and ever increasing popularity. Her colour linocuts were featured extensively in the recent (2008) Fine Arts, Boston/ Metropolitan, New York British Prints From the Machine Age - Rhythms of Modern Life 1914–1939 exhibition, and her work is held in major collections around the world.

*father of Joan Hassall, the renowned printmaker.

Public Collections holding works by Sybil Andrews include:

Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; British Museum, London.

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Sybil Andrews - Bringing in the Boat

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews381mm x 300mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Coffee Bar

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews240mm x 275mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Concert Hall

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews275mm x 330mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Fall of the Leaf

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews415mm x 393mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Football

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews 290mm x 374mm ..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Gale

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews250mm x 290mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Gypsies

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews310mm x 405mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Hauling

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews305mm x 360mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Haysel

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews283mm x 335mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - In Full Cry

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews330mm x 375mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Mangolds

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews 364mm x 430mm ..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Market Day

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews320mm x 395mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Michaelmas

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews360mm x 270mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Ploughing Pasture

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews290mm x 371mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Racing

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews 301mm x 393mm ..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Skaters

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews243mm x 455mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Speedway

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews 385mm x 275mm ..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Steeplechasing

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil AndrewsSize: Image:21.0 x 33.5..

£115.00 Ex Tax: £95.83

Sybil Andrews - Storm

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews385mm x 270mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00

Sybil Andrews - Swans

This is a Limited Edition Giclee Print by the artist Sybil Andrews380mm x 340mmEdition siz..

£138.00 Ex Tax: £115.00