Vanessa Bell was a key member of the Bloomsbury Group and Omega Workshop. This exhibition spanned her entire career from early paintings, textile designs, book illustrations to her later works. It was really exciting to see her design work in this context because you could clearly see the links between the way she painted and the way she designed. The colours were earthy and bold and the patterns very geometric. I sneaked a few photos of the design work (see above). The designs were shown as small portions of the repeat print alongside sketches such as several rug designs. She used grid paper to work on which I really liked and a mixture of black lines alongside blocks of colour. The designs feature no more than a few colours as they would have been block or screen printed.
The exhibition offered a rather nice retrospective of an artist who sometimes seems to be overshadowed by the work of her sister and her Bloomsbury peers.