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Elsie Beatrice Holliwell 

(1901-1992 Dartmouth)

Spring’, c.1950s

collage, watercolour on paper

signed to the backing board ‘Elsie Holliwell/ Carlton Lodge, Kingswear, Devon’  

with a partial exhibition label to the backing board, with the work’s title ‘SPRING’ 

28 x 36 cm.

in its original frame

This semi-abstract collage has the look of a set design, which indeed it may well be.

Elsie Holliwell was one of the founder members of the ‘21 Group of Artists’, which was officially formed by the painter Harry Pye in 1967 to showcase selected work by 21 artists from South Devon. Other artists included Beryl Clark, Kenneth Fernee, Jane Prout, Joyce Earle, Colin and Rosemary Bigwood, Christine Raikes, and Vincent Wilson. 

The group had already been exhibiting together from as early as 1963, when Pye organised annual open shows at Torre Abbey in Torquay, entitled ‘Vision’. By 1967, the group confined itself to invited artists only, the idea being to foster a creative dialogue between the especially chosen members.

Not a lot is known of Holliwell today, but four of her paintings are held in the Bushey Museum and Art Gallery, Hertfordshire. 

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