Audrey Pilkington, 2012Audrey was born in 1922 in the Forest of Bowland on the Yorkshire-Lancashire Border, England.

Her schooling was at the Convent of Notre Dame, Blackburn, Lancashire and later at St. Hilda’s, Whitby, Yorkshire. At 17 she attended Lancaster School of Art, Storey Institute, and was much influenced by the dedicated teacher, Ronald Grimshaw. She then went on to The Slade School of Art, winning prizes for lithography and design. She also exhibited in London and had one-man shows in Lancashire, Italy and Switzerland.

She married fellow art student, Patrick Heriz-Smith, who took the post of Art Master at Gordonstoun in Wales and later Scotland. Audrey taught art in the prep school and designed book jackets for Chatto & Windus and Jonathan Cape. She drew for Vogue and illustrated ‘After Bath’ by Vaughan Wilkins for Cape. Her first three children were born during this period.

In 1947 the family moved to King Alfred school in Plön, Germany, a progressive British Forces Boarding School, where her husband was Housemaster and Head of the Art Department. She exhibited in Hamburg, working on pastel and watercolour landscapes based on the beautiful Schleswig-Holstein lake country. Her fourth and fifth children were born in Germany.

In 1954 they moved to Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, where her husband was again Head of Art. Audrey exhibited in Essex, Suffolk and London (inc. Redfern Gallery, Heals) and was a member of the Colchester Art Society. Her sixth and last child was born in 1957. In 1961 they bought Clock House, Bruisyard, where she and Patrick Heriz-Smith opened a residential art school, renowned for the enchanting garden Audrey created over the years.

From 1979 she ran the studios with her daughter, Bridget, and expanded the facilities to include an etching workshop, a sculpture studio and bronze-casting foundry. The Clock House Artists Association was founded in 1982 and ran bi-annual shows for a number of years along with arts council funded residencies, regular talks, events and parties.  The Association was later taken over by Lawrence Edwards and supports his work at Butley Studios. From 1961, Audrey exhibited widely in Suffolk, both one man and mixed shows. She also exhibited in London and had one-man shows in Lancashire, Italy and Switzerland.

In 1988 she came to live in Resolven, Wales, where she continues with her work, painting large abstract oils and landscapes in pen, ink and wash, gouache and pastels. Since living in Wales, Audrey has shown her work in two one-man shows in Neath and another at The Cut in Halesworth, and exhibited at Swansea University.