Tirzah Garwood


Tirzah Garwood (1908-51)

Eileen 'Tirzah' Garwood (1908-51) was the third (tertia) child of a colonel in the Royal Engineers. From 1925-8 she went to Eastbourne School of Art, where Eric Ravilious (1903-42) taught her wood engraving; in 1927 she exhibited with the Society of Wood Engravers. She and Eric married in 1930, living first in Hammersmith and then in Essex, at Great Bardfield with Edward and Charlotte Bawden, at Castle Hedingham and at Shalford. Tirzah designed patterned and hand marbled papers (they are both in the British Museum and the V&A); between 1935 and 1941 she had three children. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1942, and while recovering from an operation began writing an informal autobiography. Eric, an Official War Artist, died in a plane that was lost over Iceland. Tirzah now focused on oil painting and collage; in 1946 she married a BBC producer, Henry Swanzy. Long Live Great Bardfield was first published in a limited edition in 2012.

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