STRACEY, Rosalind

1907 - 2005

Margaret Rosalind Linley Stracey was born just off Manchester Square in London on 8 October 1907, the second child and only daughter, of the three children of Sir Edward Paulet Stracey (5 July 1871-23 August 1949), 7th Bart. who was High Sheriff of Norfolk, and his first wife Mary Elizabeth Brinsley née Sheridan (19 October 1871-10 April 1935) who married on 17 December 1902 and their home was the imposing Rackheath Hall, just outside Norwich. Known as Rosalind Stracey, she was educated at Heathfield School at Ascot and spent her early life at Rackheath. During the Second World War she served as an ambulance driver in the Mechanised Transport Corps and later worked in the American Office of War Information and from 1945 spent two years in the United States. After which, at the age of almost 40, attended Chelsea School of Art, where alongside 18-year-old Elisabeth Jean Frink who remained a friend until her death, studied under Bernard Meadows (1915-2005) and Germaine Richier (1902-1959) and developed a distinctive style, working in bronze, often on small human or animal figures. Her greatest debt as an artist, was to Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) who was to imbue bronze, a sometimes cold medium, with warmth, poetry, and a heartbeat into her work. She married at Chelsea on 6 April 1959, Peter Edward Clement Harris (18 April 1878-3 September 1976), son of Sir Austin Edward Harris. The couple lived at Surlingham, near Norwich, but Rosalind had her studio at Walberswick on the Suffolk coast and was a member and exhibitor at the Norfolk & Norwich Art Circle 1952-1957 from Norwich and Walberswick. Her reputation grew steadily, and she exhibited at the Royal Academy; the Royal Institute Gallery in 1960 but she exhibited sparingly but her London and regional shows became more frequent after the death of her husband in 1976. There were public commissions, her 1963 bas-relief decorates the gateway to St Luke's Estate in Chelsea. Her skeletal, elongated, impressionistic figures attracted the attention of her near neighbour, the maverick art dealer Iris Mary Birtwistle, who represented Rosalind for 45 years, firstly in her Walberswick gallery and later at Deepdale Exhibitions, her caravan gallery in north Norfolk. Margaret Rosalind Linley Harris carried on working in her Chelsea studio, off the Kings Road, until she was 90 and died at Kensington, London on 23 November 2005.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 2 St Leonard's Studios, Smith Street, London
1955 1481 Alexandra - bronze head

Works by This Artist