On the Curve
The Life and Art of Sybil Andrews
Sybil Andrews was one of Canada’s most prominent artists working throughout the late twentieth century. From a cottage by the sea in Campbell River, Andrews created striking linocut prints steeped in feeling and full of movement. Inspired by the working-class community that she lived in, her art is known for its honest depiction of ordinary people at work and play on Canada’s West Coast.
Although she was raised in Bury St Edmunds, England, On the Curve focuses on Andrews’ life after she immigrated to Canada in 1947. Settling in Campbell River, Andrews taught private art and music lessons and created artwork that gained her recognition across the globe. In the final years of her life, retrospective exhibitions of her prints in Canada and Britain skyrocketed her popularity. Prints of her artwork became even more valuable after her death in 1992. In this first fully illustrated biography, author Janet Nicol weaves together stories from Andrews’ letters, diaries and interviews from her former students and friends, creating a portrait of this determined, resilient and gifted British-Canadian artist. Andrews’ work is as popular today as it was in her lifetime and continues to celebrate the cultural, industrial, agricultural and natural world of Canada’s West Coast.
“Nicol has produced a compelling narrative of Andrews’ life, from her early years in Bury St Edmunds, to the artistic and musical communities she nurtured in the remote town of Campbell River on the coast of British Columbia. It is impressively researched and sensitively written.”
—Hana Leaper, author of Sybil Andrews Linocuts: A Complete Catalogue
“In subtle strokes, Janet Nicol paints the story of the reclusive Sybil Andrews. Carefully researched and engagingly written, On the Curve provides a compelling look into the quiet life of the artist behind the bold linocut prints. Nicol weaves together Sybil’s journey from her childhood in England, her work in London as a ‘professional female artist in a male-dominated world,’ to her life in Campbell River and her legacy as an internationally acclaimed artist.”
—Andrea Lister, editor of British Columbia History magazine and author of Commitment to Caring: Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary’s 100 Years