Sketches at Bury St Edmunds museum offer insight into artistic journey of Sybil Andrews

Chairman of Friends Cliff Hind,  Dr Hana Leaper, Deputy Mayor Cllr Patrick Chung and two of Sybil's relatives Shirley Crispin and Andrew Gough at Moyse's Hall ANL-150224-101830001
Chairman of Friends Cliff Hind, Dr Hana Leaper, Deputy Mayor Cllr Patrick Chung and two of Sybil's relatives Shirley Crispin and Andrew Gough at Moyse's Hall ANL-150224-101830001

A Bury St Edmunds museum is offering a tantalising glimpse into the origins of works by a renowned printmaker from the town.

Moyse’s Hall is displaying three sketches by Bury born Sybil Andrews - two of which are being displayed alongside final prints to showcase their artistic journey.

The £1,500 sketches were bought by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which provided £300 as well as £600 from the Friends of Moyse’s Hall with match funding from the Victoria and Albert Grant Fund.

Alex McWhirter, heritage officer at Moyse’s Hall, on Cornhill, said: “It gives us the opportunity to see the thought processes behind an individual’s preliminary work to what the finished outcome is.”

The museum is displaying the sketches with about 15 linocuts by Andrews until March 12.

The borough council’s heritage department also has a large archive of her work including watercolours, fabric and letters of correspondence.

The newly acquired work includes a sketch called Trawl that Andrews never pursued. Mr McWhirter thinks its shows a line of people with fishing nets.

The Friends group enjoyed a private showing of the works on Friday night with a talk about the artist by Dr Hana Leaper from The Paul Mellon Centre for British Art.

Treasurer Diane Hind said: “She had a very definite line. She had this way of sketching in that she thought a painting had to have what she called ‘bone’ and had to have this strong basis.”

Mrs Hind said the friends group would like to explore further funding opportunities to benefit the museum.