Every artwork has a story to tell; a personal story of the artist thinking, selecting and making choices. Whilst an artist may have hundreds of ideas, only the ‘brightest’, clearest of ideas will make it all the way through to a successful piece of work – and only those will be admired in the future.
I recently had the pleasure of discovering Sybil Andrew’s work during a talk at Swindon Museum. Trained at the Grosvenor School in London, where students were encouraged to fill their compositions with dynamism, Andrews made a major contribution to the art of lino printing.
Everything begins with a sketch, and Andrews toured the capital with her sketchbook in search of subject matter. Her work is full of diagonal lines that give her compositions a touch of speed and dynamism. There is a clear link between her work and developments in art across Europe at that time – particularly English Vortism, French Cubism, and Italian Futurism.
Dialogue between artists continues to this day. I am inspired by just how much Andrews and her contemporaries achieved working with lino; then considered a very humble material indeed. The simplicity of lino, as well as the graphic image that it produces, are of particular interest to me. I enjoy using sketchbooks as a starting point for composition, and also particularly for gestures, shapes, and other ideas.