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Extraordinary Everyday: The Art & Design of Eric Ravilious
  • The Arc, Jewry Street
    SO23 8SB
A dazzling new exhibition that guides you through the brilliant career of artist and designer, Eric Ravilious, featuring rarely-seen works from private collections.

Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) was only 39 when he died on active service, but he had already achieved incredible things in the fields of fine art and design.

80 years after his death, this dazzling new exhibition will guide visitors through his brilliant career, showcasing wood engravings, watercolours, books, ceramics and lithographs. Among the many highlights are stunning watercolours from public collections, such as Train Landscape, and rarely-seen works from private collections, including Room at the William the Conqueror.

Partnering with 15 lenders from across the UK, this specially-curated exhibition for Hampshire Cultural Trust will show Eric Ravilious’ love for the simple pleasures of everyday life (a mug of strong tea, a train ride). He saw the extraordinary in the everyday and, at the same time, made everyday things seem extraordinary, whether this was in the design he made to decorate an eggcup or in his marvellous watercolours. 

With an impressive and varied programme of accompanying events, including lectures, tours and workshops, Extraordinary Everyday is both a celebration of a much-loved artist’s achievements and an opportunity for fans and collectors to learn more. The inclusion of unfinished works, studies and designs will enable visitors to explore the crossover between fine art and design work, the evolution of his mark-making and use of colour. Visitors will be able to follow his development across 20 years in book illustration and watercolour, from student works to masterpieces such as High Street and works shown in his reputation-making 1939 exhibition of watercolours. His work as a war artist is represented by a varied selection, including the beautiful South Coast Beach.

Thanks to the generosity of one private collector, the exhibition features an exciting selection of the artist’s designs for Wedgwood, including exquisite pieces from the Alphabet and Garden sets, alongside rarities such as the Coronation Golden Persephone design made for the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953, two versions of Afternoon Tea and a set of six mugs in the style of the Edward VIII Coronation Mug. All six have rarely, if ever, been seen together in public. 

The exhibition is curated by James Russell, previously curator of the 2015 blockbuster Ravilious at Dulwich Picture Gallery. James has written extensively on 20th century British art and design, always exploring the artist's life as much as their work.

Extraordinary Everyday is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue written by the curator. The catalogue will be available to purchase from our shop and online.

Look out for additional features and behind-the-scenes insights for this exhibition on our blog, Culture on Call.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Gallery soon.

Image: Garden (vignette detail), 1938 (made 1953–4), designed by Eric Ravilious for Josiah Wedgwood & Sons. Private collection. Photo John Hammond © Hampshire Cultural Trust ® Fiskars, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent © Fiskars

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