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Lucy Harwood

(Belstead 1893-1973 Upper Layham)

Still life with anemones and snap dragons in a green glass vase, roses in a jug, wild flowers in a cup, an abalone shell, and a Staffordshire figurine, c.1940-1942

oil on unlined canvas

60 x 50 cm.

in a period French frame

Harwood studied at the Slade, and was technically an extraordinarily gifted artist – but after a botched operation she lost the use of her right side and had to learn to paint with her left. Showing great spirit, undeterred, in 1940 she went to study with her friend, Cedric Morris, at his home and art school at Benton End, in Hadleigh. Her paintings from this period onwards have such fluidity and freedom, it’s as though the true artist was unshackled by her ‘plight’. It is interesting to note she later became teacher and mentor to none other than demonstrably free, Maggi Hambling.

This work was likely painted under the eye of Cedric Morris – and no doubt the flowers were picked in his garden, and the ‘objets’ would be from his collection/ kitchen.

The first ever major retrospective of Lucy Harwood’s work, in collaboration with the artist’s family, entitled Lucy Harwood: “Bold Impressions”, was held at Firstsite, Colchester, 2 December 2023 – 14 April 2024.

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