1919 Born in Chelsea, London. Her father, a poet, worked for the Board of Trade. Establishes a close relationship with him from an early age and frequently illustrates his poems. Her aunt was the architect and designer Eileen Gray. Privately educated at home by a governess. 1936 Visits the Surrealist Exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries, London. 1937 Attends Chelsea School of Art part-time and studies commercial design, life drawing and sculpture. Her tutors include Ceri Richards, Robert Medley, Julian Trevelyan and Henry Moore. Graham Sutherland gave advice on etching. The onset of war brings her early art education to an abrupt end. 1939-45 Becomes a ‘firewatcher’. Conscripted by the Ministry of Labour, to work in the American Office of War Information in Grosvenor Square and Selfridges’ basement. Draws charts and maps of military railway lines, magazine layouts and carries out clerical work. Attends drawing classes at the Central School of Art. Early visits to Southwold and various fishing ports along the Suffolk coast, begin to inform her work. First thoughts of a full-time career in painting. While balancing office duties with artistic work, produces a series of Neo-Romantic coastal views. Subjects include shoreline flotsam and jetsam (tree roots, dead birds, bleached bones), initially executed in watercolour, inks and, later, in oil. 1945 As soon as the war is over visits Holland and the newly reopened Rijksmuseum. The Paul Klee exhibition at the National Gallery fuels an ever-growing awareness of the importance of process and technique. Discussions about art and architecture with Eileen Gray on her visits to London. Experiments with oil paint and egg tempera. Work shown at the Redfern Gallery, London. 1946 Exhibits with the London Group. Themes of labour and workers. 1946-49 Studies part time with Victor Pasmore at Camberwell School of Art and attends life classes at Chelsea School of Art. 1947 First solo exhibition at the Leger Gallery. Meets the artist and collector David Carr who exerts a significant influence on her, both personally and artistically. Cultivates a deep interest in the themes of labour, the working environment and machinery. Working in Southwold. Begins to make prints for the ‘Ladies of Miller’s’ (Caroline Lucas and Frances Byng-Stamper). Teaches herself lithography from books. Process becomes increasingly important as does ‘indirect’ mark-making such as the use of monotypes, printing and stencils etc. Becomes a part of the Soho set while frequenting in the Colony Room and the French Pub. Loosely connected to the group of painters with ‘Neo-Romantic’ tendencies, including Vaughan, Minton, Craxton, Ayrton, Vaughan, MacBryde and Colquhoun. Meets writers and poets including W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas. 1948 Featured in 'Picture Post' (March 1949). Growing recognition. 1950-53 Producing urban scenes, industrial landscapes, people at work and the accoutrements of labour. Embarks on a series of paintings depicting men in lorries. Drawing in factories and bakeries with the sculptor Ghisha Koenig. Images of women at work. Increasing awareness that her chosen subject-matter has hitherto been ignored and becomes determined to explore this new aesthetic. Friendships formed with John Berger, Bryan Wynter, Derrick Greaves, Cedric Morris, Edward Middleditch, Lett Haines, Patrick Herron and Mary Potter. 1951 Work included in the important exhibitions, British Painting: 1925-50 and 60 Paintings for '51 (Festival of Britain exhibition) and the first Bienal de São Paulo. Early Neo-Romantic tendencies now being replaced by leanings towards realism. Develops a method of jotting down descriptive words and phrases as a means of note-taking; these become as important as drawing while gathering information for picture-making. 1955 – The human figure becomes less important as a subject while the evidence of the presence of people is given greater emphasis (work tools, chance marks, and found objects). Increasingly abstract imagery. The inclusion of sand, dust, ash and other ingredients in the pigment creates thick impastoes and fosters a richer, more varied surface. The use of stencils and templates create textured patterns across the picture plane. 1956-69 Teaches part-time at Chelsea School of Art. 1960 Important solo exhibition at the Whitechapel curated by Bryan Robertson. Exhibits 154 paintings and 33 drawings. 1961 Trips to Paris to Eileen Gray and visits to the Tapies exhibition. Stops working with oil painting and returns to print-making. Executes a 5 meter long mural for the Schweppes factory in Sidcup which is later destroyed. Integration of new materials (collage, glues, found objects) into painting. A new willingness to improvise and capitalize on the ‘happy accident’ during the working process. A fresh approach to subject-matter involving the use of dislocated pictorial motifs, fewer recognizable visual clues and unexplained, enigmatic associations of objects. Exploration of the urban environment. Creates reliefs that incorporate found objects. Few are exhibited. 1964 Moves to a new studio in Moore Park Road, Fulham. 1966-97 Teaches part-time at Wimbledon School of Art. Frequent visits to Paris and renewed closeness to Eileen Gray. Many discussions concerning materials, techniques and studio practice. Solo exhibitions with the New Arts Centre extend clientele, patrons and opportunities. 1968 Turns down an OBE. Summer tutor at the British School in Rome. 1972 Solo exhibition at Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield. 1972-1982 Produces a series of ‘gate’ paintings with symbolic and, perhaps, metaphysical significance. Increased use of grids in compositions as well as new materials, (formica, cellulose spray paint and mixed media). 1976 Solo exhibitions: Serpentine Gallery, London and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. 1977 Trip to New York and visits to the Guggenheim, the Whitney and Museum of Modern Art. 1979 Turns down a CBE. Assists in curating the Eileen Gray exhibition at Museum of Modern Art, New York and Victoria and Albert Museum, in London. 1970s Greater clarity, sense of air and space in the work. Moves towards minimalist subjects. 1980s-1990s Much teaching: visiting tutor at Winchester, St Albans, Bournemouth, Royal College and the Slade schools of art. Insistence of keeping painting prices to a minimum. A brighter palette develops alongside the use of acrylic paint. After partial blindness, a cataract operation restores her sight. Inherits Eileen Gray’s copyright and estate. 1982 Solo exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and the Warwick Arts Trust, London. 1983 Moves to Sherbrooke Road studio, remaining there until her death. 1988 Association with Annely Juda Gallery (paintings) and Flowers East (graphics). New interest in multi-coloured found objects. Diagnosed with cancer. New inspiration in seascapes after visits to Portsmouth. 1996 Solo exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre, London. 1999 Awarded Jerwood Painting Prize in recognition of a lifetime of painting. Solo exhibition at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. Dies December 26 in London.

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