A Trio of Chairs for the Ravilious & Co Exhibition at the Towner Art Gallery

When the conversation started with the Towner to discuss a commission for a bench for the foyer for the upcoming touring exhibition Ravilious & Co: The pattern of Friendship, it soon became apparent that one bench would not be sufficient. 

image: Eric Ravilious,  Two Women in a Garden , 1939. Fry Art Gallery

image: Eric Ravilious, Two Women in a Garden, 1939. Fry Art Gallery

I have always had a bit of a thing for a collection of three chairs, not two, or more or even one. There is something about three. I would also apply this to planting in the garden, pictures on the wall, and vases of flowers on the table. Three as a collection works. They’re a unit, a family and they compliment each other. Importantly they do need to be different to compliment each other. Lucky then that I have the privilege of being able to develop and create three exclusive chairs for this project:) 

Enter to the stage my ‘Three Piece Sweet’, or rather, three pieces for this exhibition. The bench will quite literally become part of the furniture at Towner, I am proud to say, a commission for them, whilst the other two chairs will be for sale from me.

The exhibition www.townereastbourne.org.uk explores the relationships and working collaborations between Ravilious and his affiliates, Paul Nash, Enid Marx, Tirzah Garwood and Edward Bawden amongst others. 

The inspiration for the fabrics began with the beautiful book, ‘A Specimen book of Pattern Papers’; Curwen Press 1928.


It has been both exciting and difficult to choose just three designs from the thirty one beautiful pattern papers in this gorgeous book. I am reassured in the knowledge that, under license and contract with the Towner, I will have the privilege of developing exclusive fabrics for future commissions. 

A Specimen Book of Pattern Papers; Curwen Press 1928

A Specimen Book of Pattern Papers; Curwen Press 1928

So the three designs we have selected are; a bold Paul Nash fabric for a lovely Ercol bench I have sourced. Another Paul Nash design for a new chair shape that has some beautiful woodwork. And an Enid Marx Cocktail chair. More on these in the next post, I’m looking forward to seeing them all come together and to see the exhibition as a whole. It opens on May 27th, details in the link above.