Crooked Window

Ffenest Gam


David Moore is researching the life and work of artist Ray Howard-Jones. The artist was born in Lambourn, Berkshire, in 1903 and died in London in 1996. David knew the artist in Pembrokeshire from 1985 when he was working for the regional museum service and exhibited her work at Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery, Brecon, in 1994.

Song of the Rock by Ray Howard-Jones, 1987


Ray Howard-Jones was brought up in Penarth, south Wales, and later lived in London. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in the 1920s, where she was taught by Henry Tonks and Wilson Steer. At first, in part due to illness and family commitments, Ray Howard-Jones's career was slow to take off. In the 1940s the War Artists Advisory Committee commisioned her to record miltary installations in the Bristol Channel and purchased work of preparations for the D-Day landings.

The artist is particularly associated, however, with the Pembrokeshire coast from the late 1940s until a few years before she died. She shared her life there with the photographer Raymond Moore until 1971. Ray is best known for her remarkable use of colour in impressionistic and often deeply spiritual Pembrokeshire seascapes and coastal scenes. Many were painted on Skomer and around Marloes. She also sketched and painted the coastal wildlife.

She had a strong sense of design and produced two outstanding mosaics, one on the newspaper office Thomson House in Cardiff in 1959 and the other an altarpiece in Marchmont St Giles' Church in Edinburgh in 1965. The first was demolished in 2008. For information about these please refer to: Moore, David, 'Bleeding Fingers & Bach Fugues: The Mosaic Work of Ray Howard-Jones', Andamento, Journal of ther British Association for Modern Mosaic, Volume 4, 2010 (available from the BAMM website under Education & Resources).

Ray Howard-Jones was a significant Welsh landscape artist and, intriguingly, a contemporary of Graham Sutherland, John Piper and Eric Ravilious. Long overdue for critical reassessment, she was extremely prolific over a life of ninety-three years and has left a considerable legacy of work.

David Moore is researching and writing a comprehensive book about the artist and would like to hear from people who own work or were involved in her life. Please contact David by post, email or telephone.


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