Imagine stumbling across an entire archive of incredible artworks spanning an artist’s life- after their demise. That is what happened to the friends and family of Sheila Bownas…
Sheila began studying art in Skipton in the 1940s and was an incredibly accomplished and prolific painter and surface designer throughout her career. She had some real feathers in her cap, including paintings exhibited at the RCA and commissions with Liberty. The work which she had accumulated after several decades must have been an astonishing discovery – and a discovery it certainly was as her family and friends were completely unaware of this huge part of her life – until her death in 2007.
“In terms of buying authentic old prints in mint condition it doesn’t get much better than this”
I cannot remember how I first stumbled across this astonishing tale – possibly in a faithful issue of Homes and Antiques magazine (love those guys) – and I immediately became a fan. As far as the continuation of Sheila’s work goes and the current brand, we have Chelsea Cefai to thank for that, who took ownership of the archive and brought it back to life in 2008.
Reading Chelsea’s blog gives a thrilling insight in to the rewards and responsibilities which being the custodian of a collection such as this entails.
The whole range is fantastic although I am currently obsessed with the incredible prints (which probably has something to do with all the white walls I am presently facing at home!)
In terms of buying authentic old prints in mint condition it doesn’t get much better than this: previously unused designs, freshly printed using current technologies (which means that the inks will have more longevity) and at super affordable prices. With brilliant names from the era such as Cecil, Peggy and Daphne who can resist?
Choose a piece to clash or match – who cares? I suspect these will look amazing hung however, wherever.
A particularly good buy is The Box Set which holds a mix of prints, some newly published and some old favourites. It comes beautifully presented and as an edition of only 50 it is incredible value, not to mention what a magnificent gift it would make!
There is so much to choose from in the range. What’s YOUR favourite?