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Olivia Spencer Bower spent 1929 to 1931 based in England, where she studied at the Slade School of Fine Art under the formidable Henry Tonks, whose pupils included Spencer Gore, Augustus John, Wyndham Lewis and Stanley Spencer. She travelled extensively throughout Britain as well as France and Italy, sketching and visiting art museums. Spencer Bower was based at Capri during February, 1931 where she sketched every day. Her return to New Zealand later that year was a disappointment: ‘Here I was, back from England with my pretty clothes and self confidence I hadn’t had before, and I was incarcerated in the Slump.’