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Edna 'Gin' Ginesi 

(Leeds 1902-2000 Hammersmith, London)

Encounter at Queen's Square, Crawley, c.1963

oil on canvas

signed lower right ‘E. Ginesi’

with Atkinson Art Gallery label and artist’s label with her address, to the reverse

61 x 91.5 cm.


Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport, 1963, no. 3. 


Carolyn Trant, Voyaging Out - British Women Artists from Suffrage to the Sixties, 2019, p. 228 (illus.).

After the Second World War, British town planning and architecture underwent a massive renaissance and utopian moment, in the wake of Blitz damage, and slum clearance. Crawley had been identified in 1946 in the New Towns Act as a suitable location for just such a development. 5,920 acres of land were set aside for the new town, split across the county borders between East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey. Architect Thomas Bennett (1887 – 1980) was appointed chairman of Crawley Development Corporation. 

By 1947, an initial plan for the development of the area had been drawn up by Anthony Minoprio (1900 – 1988). Bennett estimated that planning, designing and building the town, and increasing its population from the existing 9,500 to 40,000, would take 15 years. This envisaged an increase in the population of the town to 50,000, residential properties in nine neighbourhoods radiating from the town centre, and a separate industrial area to the north, though this was revised upwards over the years to 70,000. Extended shopping facilities to the east of the existing high street were provided, and the first stage to open was The Broadwalk in 1954, followed by the opening of the Queen's Square development by Queen Elizabeth II in 1958. The present view would have been painted some time between that date and 1963, when it was exhibited at the Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport. Although Ginesi lived in Hammersmith, London, she had a studio in Sussex. 

Ginesi specialised in landscapes and nature studies. Born in Leeds, but of Italian descent, she was a friend and contemporary of the sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, both of whom she met at Leeds School of Art, which she attended from 1920, before studying at the Royal College of Art. At the RCA, the trio formed part of the ‘Leeds Table’, along with Ginesi’s future husband Raymond Coxon, and the painter Vivian Pitchforth.  At this time Edna also studied informally with Leon Underwood. In 1924 she was awarded a West Riding Travelling Scholarship, which enabled her to visit the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and France. 

Ginesi married Raymond Coxon  in 1926, and Henry Moore was the best man at their wedding, giving the couple his ‘Head of a Virgin’ (1922) as a wedding present. The couple moved to Hammersmith where they lived for over sixty years. 

In 1927, Ginesi formed the British Independent Society with Coxon, Moore, and Underwood. She exhibited with the London Group, of which she was later a member, and in 1932 she had her first solo exhibition at the Zwemmer Gallery. She was also a member of the Twenties Group founded by Lucy Wertheim. In the 1930s she made ends meet by teaching at the Chelsea School of Art. 

During the Second World War, Ginesi worked as an ambulance driver, and, with Coxon, taught painting in Guildford. A retrospective of Ginesi's work was held in 1956 inCartwright Hall, Bradford, and in 1985 she exhibited alongside Coxon at the Michael Parkin Gallery in London. She was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy. 

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