The Clay Pit, Harold Harvey (1874-1941)
Oil on canvas, Newlyn School, 1923. View of Leswidden China Clay Works near St Just. This painting shows the harsh, labour-intensive working conditions of a china clay pit. Leswidden China Clay Works, near St Just, was a more primitive works than the larger, more mechanised works in the St Austell area. The pit was closed before 1942. Harold Harvey was one of the few successful artists of the period who was born and raised in Cornwall. He grew up surrounded by the industry he would later paint and counted many of the working people he depicted as friends. He originally studied under Norman Garstin, but also visited Paris as a young man where he was greatly influenced by the Post-Impressionist movement. His earlier work was very much influenced by Stanhope Forbes, though it changed as he grew older, his brushwork becoming less thick and his forms more simple. Some of his later work shows a period stylisation but without the Picasso influences of his contemporaries Ernest and Dod Procter. Harvey continued to work right up to his death in 1941.
'A Factoryscape in the Potteries', (1938). Artist: Unknown
'A Factoryscape in the Potteries', (1938). Smoke from chimneys in the industrial area known as the Staffordshire Potteries, Stoke-on-Trent. Due to the local availability of clay and coal, North Staffordshire became a centre of ceramic production in the early 17th century. Illustration from A History of Everyday Things in England - Done in four parts of which this is the third. The Rise of Industrialism 1733-1851, by Marjorie and C. D. B. Quennell. [B. T. Batsford Ltd., London, 1938]
© The Print Collector / Heritage-Images
Surreal study, 1952. Creator: Shirley Markham
Surreal study, 1952. Illustration for a poem by TS Eliot. Shirley Markham (1931-1999) studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Central School of Art in London from 1950-1952. The writer, artist, poet, and illustrator Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) was one of her tutors, and her style of drawing was also influenced by other British illustrators such as Edward Ardizzone, Quentin Blake and Edward Bawden. Markham spent time in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy, and also visited Rome, sketching classical buildings. After graduating from Central, she worked as a graphic designer, producing book illustrations, cartoons for comics, menus and programmes. She gave up her promising career however when she got married in 1957. Middle-class women at that time were expected to devote their energies to bringing up children and running the home, and despite her obvious talent, she lacked the confidence to return to illustration. Her portfolio remained in the family attic for many years, but now her work is published here for the first time.
© Shirley Markham Collection / Heritage-Images