Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Woodcuts & Wedgwood, Shops & Submarines: Eric Ravilious, Designer

Thanks to everyone who came to the Royal West of England Academy on Saturday to hear my talk on Eric Ravilious's design work. It's fascinating to look at the wood engravings, ceramics and lithography together; apparently so different, these disciplines interconnect in all sorts of intriguing ways. A pleasure too to meet illustrator Lucy Auge (should be an acute accent on that e), a collector or two and a wood engraver taught by Peter Reddick, who cited Ravilious as an important influence.

I'll be doing a similar talk at the Fry Art Gallery in November and also for NADFAS groups around the country over the next couple of years - I try to list forthcoming talks on the sidebar when I get a chance to update it.

One thing I've come to realise is that Ravilious referred back to his previous work often and recycled ideas, techniques and themes constantly. I've been exploring this cross-fertilisation in the new Mainstone Press book 'Eric Ravilious: Wood Engravings', which is in production now and should be ready in the early autumn, and it's given me yet another new way of looking at the artist's work.

 & Submarines
I particularly love the way he went back and forth between watercolour and lithography, using his mastery of the former to grasp the principles of the latter, then transferring techniques back from printmaking to painting. At the end of his life he was, as Robert Harling noted, just getting started.

Look out for 'Eric Ravilious: Wood Engravings' in the autumn! I'll post a picture of the cover as soon as it's finished.


  1. It is so sad that he was cut off in his prime. Fortunately he was very prolific and left us so much.

  2. You're right - he did! Thanks for the comment