Thursday, 11 September 2014

One of the many Designers of fabric we are selling on 24th September is Shirley Craven's work, born in Hull in 1934 and educated at Hull College of Art. She went on to study printed textiles at the Royal College of Art (RCA) from 1955 to 1958. After leaving the RCA she began practicing as a freelance designer but refused to adapt her designs to the commercial demands of the market.

‘Textiles should be an artistic field, not just a commercial transaction. The designer should have the same impetus as the painter.’ Craven said.

In 1959 Craven teamed up with Hull Traders and the owner, Peter Neubert, gave her full creative control. Craven’s first designs for Hull Traders were an immediate success and creativity flourished. She was drawn to hybrid artist-designers - artists with a feel for design and designers with artistic sensibilities. The hand screen-printing process and attention to detail meant that many of the fabrics were produced almost as unique one-off art works.

Rare and bold compositions and the inspired handling of colour place these fabrics in a different league. The Designs have many influences such as landscape, seascape, abstract expressionism or the geometric playfulness of Op Art.

Here are two examples of Shirley Craven's work:-

Lot 717 'Venetian Stripe'

Lot 731 'Kaplan'

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