In Matrix 23, where the article by Lucy Archer about Olive Cook appears, John Randle wrote a short note about his long association with her as a contributor to the journal.
John and Rosemary Randle are owner/founders of The Whittington Press, publisher of The Matrix (‘by far the finest periodical of the book arts of the twentieth century, surpassing even the seven-volume Fleuron issued in the 1920s’), which is now in its thirtieth year.
This article, written about the photographer James Ravilious (1939–1999) by Olive Cook, first appeared in Matrix 19, published by The Whittington Press in Winter 1999. James Ravilious died just before the article was published. It is reproduced here with permission.
This article was published in Matrix 21 in 2001. Written by Olive Cook, it was to introduce the last book of Edwin’s work that she would oversee in her lifetime.
I have a copy of ‘A View of the Cotswolds’ and the reproduction quality of the images is superb, akin to the photogravure process that Edwin loved. The overall production of the book is of the usual high standard associated with the Whittington Press, with a cover featuring an Edwin Smith linocut.
This article, written by Olive Cook, first appeared in Matrix 18, published by The Whittington Press in Winter 1998. It is reproduced here with permission.
Olive Cook was married to Edwin Smith and a published author, academic and artist in her own right. She did not suffer those whom she considered to be ‘artistic fools’ gladly and some of the tone of that dislike for the pretentious comes across in this article. She was however a staunch believer in the power of photography to capture ‘the genius of place’ and she devoted much of her life after Edwin’s early death to promoting his work as a photographer.
This article, written by Olive Cook, first appeared in Matrix 10, published by The Whittington Press in Winter 1990. It is reproduced here with permission.
Olive Cook was a close friend of Tirzah Garwood and this beautifully written short biography is a one of the few detailed references to an artist who is often overlooked in the history of English art and design. As the wife of Eric Ravilious, she was somewhat overshadowed by his reputation but nevertheless produced a large body of work that is accomplished and significant in its own right. Her son, James Ravilious, was also a noted artist and photographer, referenced elsewhere on this site.
This article, written by Lucy Archer and originally published in Matrix 23, is an evocative and moving tribute to Olive Cook. I recognise so much of my own experience in working with – and being good friends with – Olive for many of the years. It is testament to Olive’s character that Lucy experienced the same convivial hospitality and enthusiasm that I remembered from my time spent with Olive.