Friday, 4 September 2015

The complete cuts

Sybil Andrews beautiful linocuts capture the sights and feel of rural and industrial life in Britain and Canada from the thirties up to the late eighties. Over all these years Andrews only produced eighty-eight linocut prints which are all shown in this catalogue. The first fifty-three were completed in England up to 1947, she then married Walter Morgan, a boat builder and they moved to a remote logging town in British Columbia where the remainder of the prints were created.

Andrews was born in Bury St Edmunds (1898) where she met Cyril Power in 1921. He was an artist and twenty-six years older than her but over the following years they both influenced each other by interpreting European art movements into their linocuts. Power's work is much more fluid than Andrew's, she concentrated on a more solid and angular graphic style with robust shapes, colour and easily noticed focal points in her prints. This style is especially noticeable in the various cuts showing workers in an industrial setting. Apart from the agricultural and manual work pictures there are several showing religious scenes which Andrews created in Canada.

Author Hana Leaper contributes a front of book essay about the life of Sybil Andrews and then her work is shown with one linocut a page. Usefully the comprehensive captions also include some background detail for many of the pictures.

Andrews and Cyril Power were both significant contributors to British printmaking in the thirties and forties. Lund Humphries has already published a complete catalogue of Power's linocuts in the same format as this book.

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