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.