New exhibition marks 120th anniversary of Sybil Andrews’ birth
The family of Bury St Edmunds artist Sybil Andrews attended a special exhibition of her work yesterday on what would have been her 120th birthday.
Around 1o of Sybil Andrews’ cousins joined staff and school pupils from Sybil Andrews Academy, councillors and other community figures at Moyse’s Hall Museum in the town, where the exhibition will run until May 20.
Andrew Gough, the artist’s first cousin twice removed, said: “It’s lovely to celebrate Sybil’s work, particularly on her birthday. I think she would be chuffed with it. It means a lot that people want to carry on her legacy and it makes us very proud.”
The family also presented an old exhibition poster to the pupils of Sybil Andrews Academy, which will be displayed in the artist’s corner of the school library.
Paul Rayner, chairman of governors, said: “For us it’s fantastic to have this piece of Sybil’s heritage donated to us by her family. We are very grateful. She’s from Bury and in a time of such hardship she achieved so much.
“We are keen for our pupils to understand the life and work of Sybil and we hope this poster will inspire them.”
Sybil Andrews was a printmaker who rose to fame after a chance meeting with fellow artist Cyril Powers, with whom she collaborated for years under the pseudonym Andrew Powers.
She moved to Canada in 1947 and lived there until her death in 1992.
The exhibition, which was organised by heritage officers Alex McWhirter and Dan Clarke, is thought to be the largest collection of the artist’s work outside of Canada.
It includes many prints and drawings, as well as the Sybil Andrews Edmund Tapestry, which is on loan from St Edmundsbury Cathedral.
“The most exciting part for me is the partnership work that has gone into the exhibition with all the different people and bodies contributing to it. It’s everyone together - a community project at its very best,” said Mr Clarke.
Edward Wortley, a cousin who was in contact with the artist up until her death, said: “Sybil would be very proud of this as she was involved in many worthy community causes herself. She may have moved to Canada but she always kept her hometown of Bury in her heart. In a way, she never really left.”