AN exhibition of a renowned local artist went on display in Malvern this week.

A series of works by Dame Laura Knight has been set up in Church Walk in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of her death.

The exhibition was opened by Cllr Cynthia Palmer, who is also a member of the Dame Laura Knight society.

The display will be up until August 4, showing off some of her most famous works.

It had been proposed shortly before the coronavirus lockdown, and the fact it is an outdoor exhibition appears to have saved it.

Evie Knight, chair of the Friends of the Dame Laura Knight Society, said: “The society wanted to commemorate Laura’s anniversary and share her work with the town where she lived and we wanted the exhibition to be accessible to all people.

"The open air display boards are the perfect place for this and the en-plein air exhibition is very in-keeping with Laura’s style of painting outdoors.

"Of course it has the added benefit of being a safe, socially distanced, outdoor event at a time when people are concerned about the coronavirus.

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"Little did I know at the time when the idea of an outdoor exhibition was conceived that it would be its saving grace.

"In fact, at the moment, this is the only exhibition which is open commemorating Dame Laura Knight’s 50th anniversary as art galleries had to close their doors and postpone their exhibitions until later this year or in some cases, next year.”

Dame Laura and her husband Harold lived and worked in Malvern for long periods between 1930 and Harold’s death in 1961. Her first visit to Malvern came in the early 1920s when she was invited to stay by Barry Jackson, who went on to found the Malvern Festival.

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Born into impoverished surroundings in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, Dame Laura went on to become one of the most successful female artists of the 20th century. She became the first woman to be elected a Royal Academician in 1936 and the only woman artist to be given War Commissions in the two world wars. Details are on the Friends of Dame Laura Knight Society Website: