A Taste of Sunshine


Standing Bull by William Newland, 1947

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sally Nash, the daughter of William Newland and Margaret Hine, artists who’s work is featured in the current exhibition at the Design Study Centre Of Brush and Clay: Painter Potters of the 20th Century.

In the post-war period Newland and Hine’s ceramics forged a path away from the sombre Anglo-Orientalism of Bernard Leach and his followers. Working with Nicholas Vergette, they drew inspiration from Picasso and the traditional tin-glazed ceramics of southern Europe. During the course of our conversation we talked about Newland and Hine’s travels in the Mediterranean just after the Second World War and the influence this had on their work.


Newland and Hine weren’t the only artists looking to sunnier climes for inspiration during the post-war period. Fascination with the Mediterranean could be felt in diffuse areas including fine art, illustration, cookery and garden design.


Jacket illustration by John Minton (1917-57) for Elizabeth David’s Mediterranean and French Country Food (1950).

One artist particularly associated with this trend was John Minton (1917-57), a fine artist and one of the most popular illustrators of the time, responsible for illustrating many books, most famously Elizabeth David’s first two cookery books.


John Minton (1917-1957) On the Quay, Cornwall, pen and ink, circa 1944. Image courtesy of Bonhams.

Looking at Minton’s illustrations, I’m struck by the similarities with Hine’s style.


Figure on a donkey by Margaret Hine, 1949

The vigorous rendering and hatching of Hine’s work is very much in the Minton manner. Even the heads of Hine’s figures have the same distinctive horizontal elongation seen, for example, in Minton’s Children by the Sea.

Children by the Sea 1945 by John Minton 1917-1957

John Minton, Children by the Sea, 1945. Image courtesy of the Tate Gallery.

Studio ceramics are so often seen in isolation from other genres that perhaps we forget that they were and are subject to the same influences, movements, challenges and artistic ideals.


Plate painted with a pierrot on horseback by Margaret Hine, circa 1950.

The exhibition has had its run extended and is at the Design Study Centre, 48 Park Row, Bristol until Wednesday 30th December.

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