Eileen Mayo

England / Australia / Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1906, d.1994

Skaters

  • 1925
  • Wood engraving
  • Purchased 2012
  • 113 x 88mm
  • 2012/024

Two prints from early in Eileen Mayo’s career show the strength of her natural ability. Eileen was nineteen and studying at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, when she made the wood engraving Skaters. She made Turkish Bath a few years later in response to an invitation to put work in the Second Exhibition of British Lino-Cuts at the Redfern Gallery, London. Her invitation came from Claude Flight, the linocut’s principal champion, who reportedly instructed her on the technique over the telephone. She had met Flight, a teacher at the Grosvenor School of Art, while working there in 1929 as a life-class model.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • [Turn, Turn, Turn: A Year in Art, 27 July 2019 – 8 March 2020] (https://christchurchartgallery.org.nz/exhibitions/turn-turn-turn-a-year-in-art)

    Believed to be one of Eileen Mayo’s first wood engravings, this dynamic monochromatic image of two ice skaters shows her interest in balancing form and movement within a tightly controlled picture space. In 1925, Mayo was in London and had just taken up her studies at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, after two years at the Slade School of Art. She attended evening classes in wood engraving, calligraphy, drawing, lithography and historical costume design, supporting herself by working as a freelance designer during the day. Mayo later worked as a model for a life-class at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art, where she met Claude Flight, the artist and educator who pioneered and popularised the linocut technique and encouraged Mayo to produce her first work in that medium.

    (Turn, Turn, Turn: A Year in Art, 27 July 2019 – 8 March 2020)