Re-working and re-evaluating assignment 5


My tutor has suggested that to broaden my research for this assignment would be beneficial and has mentioned a couple of artists that may be of interest to me. Their lives and work have been well documented elsewhere so I am providing a short summary here. I also have set up pinterest boards for both these artists here



Sonia Delauney

Born Sara Stern in 1885 in the Ukraine and raised in Russia, Sonia Delauney was a French artist known for her strong use of colour and geometric shapes. Sonia, with her second husband Robert Delaunay mostly worked in Paris, and ‘cofounded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes.’ Wikipedia

Born: November 14, 1885, Odessa, Ukraine

Died: December 5, 1979, Paris, France

Spouse(s): Wilhelm Uhde, Robert Delaunay

Period: Modern art

From The Tate’s website  biography (
Artist biography

‘After their return to Paris in 1920 was mainly active for some years as designer of fabrics and clothes in styles related to her paintings. Collaborated with her husband on several huge mural paintings for the 1937 Paris International Exhibition. Subsequently created many paintings and gouaches of lyrical abstract colour rhythms, as well as lithographs, tapestries etc., and participated in 1939 in the creation of the Réalités Nouvelles. First one-woman exhibition at the Galerie Bing, Paris, 1953. Died in Paris.’


Delauny’s work continues to influence art and fashion to this day, Junya Watanabe’s ‘patchwork madness” collection for spring / summer 2015 was influenced by Sonia Delauney’s work there are similarities to Rythme Coloré (above left).


The Unsung Art of Sonia Delaunay–a1079/sonia-delaunay-terk-posters.htm


Some pieces of her work that I find particularly interesting:

Gloria Swansan

Title/Series: Coat made for Gloria Swansan

Designer: Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979)

Date: ca. 1923-4

Materials: Wool

I really like the interlocking motifs in this coat. The ‘Aztec’ like motifs are really complimented by the earthy colour scheme. It would look spectacular on. The patterns and colours would be moving as the wearer moved. Sonia Delauny is well known for her wearable art pieces including swimsuits, coats jackets and shoes all designed to be moving paintings.

VB 005

VB 005


Title/Series: Diagonale

Designer: Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979)

Manufacture: Ateliers Pinton – Aubusson, France

Date: ca. 1971

Materials: Wool

Technique: Hand woven tapestry

Dimensions: 6 ft. 4 in. x 4 ft. 9 in.

I love the interlocking shapes and colour especially the diagonal intersection meeting in the middle. I particularly like the interplay of the grey against the other brighter colours.

Ben Nicholson

Born: April 10th 1894, Denham, Buckinghamshire, England

Died: 6 February 1982 (aged 87)
Hampstead, Greater London, England

Spouse(s): Winifred Roberts (1920-1938)
Barbara Hepworth (1938-1951)
Felicitas Vogler (1957-1977)

Work: abstract compositions (sometimes in low relief), landscape and still-life.

Nicholson was born near London, England. His father and uncle were both painters. His father specialised in still life paintings and Nicholson started in very much the same style. After meeting the artist Mondrian his work became increasingly abstract. With his second wife Barbara Hepworth, he worked mainly in London during the inter war years. They were the centre of a thriving modern art scene in London including many exciled european artists who had moved to London to escape persecution in their own countries.

In 1939 he and Hepworth moved with their three small children to St Ives in Cornwall and this had a huge influence on his work. He returned to painting landscapes during the war years to earn money.

‘In cornwall he began to turn away from the severity, purity, and strictly rectilinear structure of his works. He made paintings and drawings of the harours and landscapes of Cornwall and still lifes in an abstracted form of late cubism, in which the objects are indicated by overlapping linear silhouesttes, with silvery tones enlivened by small patches of brilliant colour.’ (

a great example of this is:

st ives

1945 St Ives, a still life that he painted many times in different versions. Note the union jack in celebration on VE day, not seen in the other versions.

I really enjoy this painting the way that Nicholson ‘flattens’ the prospective is brilliant. It abstracts the image. Each version of this painting are slightly different. Sometimes there is only the mere hint of the outlines of the objects floating in front of the landscape.

The still life arrangement at the forefront on the window sill over looking the scene of St Ives reminds me of the view from the windows of fishermen’s cottages overlooking the harbour in St Ives. A place I know very well.

The reason for the use of a still life arrangement in front of the abstract landscape has long been debated. I personally agree with the the idea that in a time of war it gives a sense of home.

A similar work also finished in Cornwall shows a more abstract still life with landscape background is Mousehole, painted in November 1947:


‘Ben Nicholson’s painting of a pretty, quiet harbour bay in weathered hues of gold, magnolia and grey, is disrupted by large abstract shapes that seem to float and hover in the plane.’ <a href=”;

I have tried to emulate these paintings in response to my tutors comments in my feedback:


Another favourite of mine is Four pears:


Four pears – 1955. Oil on canvas, 28 x 22 inches
This sketch reminds me of blind continuous drawing, a technique that I am just starting to embrace.

Nicholson had started experimenting with still lifes containing fruit in the 1920’s developing into more and more abstracted forms. The fruit appear flatterned against the background. The fruit and surrounding objects become ‘simply flat planes’.

The overlapping lines where the pears meet is very striking. So simple but yet conveys so much. I really like this idea it would work really well as an idea in shadow quilting for example.



About Julie Hooker

Having recently returned to my roots in Surrey, I am currently studying a BA Hons degree with the OCA. My work is often inspired by the local countryside in the beautiful Surrey Hills area and the wild rugged nature of the North Cornish coast. Steam engines and abandoned industrial history are also recent themes. A free machine embroiderer and felt maker; I like to explore the use of natural, found materials to create my art, whether that be as raw materials to stitch or weave with or as a material with which to produce dye or print with. Previously, I completed City and Guilds parts 1 & 2 Creative Embroidery at the East Berkshire College in Windsor in 2007. I was also awarded first place in the wearable art section of the National Quilt Championships 2008 and 2009 held annually at Sandown Park.
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