A collection of original, hand-painted designs sheds light on the life and work of Yorkshire artist Sheila Bownas.
Discovered in a Yorkshire saleroom by Chelsea Cefai – co-curator of this show – an entire archive of work by artist Sheila Bownas (1925-2007) led to the unravelling of an overlooked story.
Raised in the Yorkshire Dales village of Linton in Craven, Bownas developed her artistic talent at Skipton Art College and went on to The Slade, London. After graduating in 1950 she pursued a career as a freelance designer, supplying patterns to clients including Liberty and Marks and Spencer.
Having settled in the Dales, Bownas continued selling designs by post for a further 20 years – but it was only after her death in 2007 that her family discovered the scale of her collection of still lifes, landscape and portrait paintings alongside her textile designs. Her colourful patterns, featuring playful scenes, floral and geometric motifs, capture the optimism of the post-war era.
Presented in the De'Longhi Print Room at Pallant House, this free exhibition draws on designs from the uncovered archive collection.