We’ve delved into our collection and picked out these beautiful prints to show you by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham CBE, also known as Willie.

Willie was born in St Andrews, Fife in 1912. She attended Edinburgh College of Art from 1931 and finally graduated, after setbacks caused by illness, in 1937. 

Moving to St Ives in 1940, she retained a studio with the School of St Ives until her death in 2004.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Wind Dance I, 2004. Part of the Paintings in Hospitals Collection

Her precise drawing and ordering of shapes and colour were informed by the St Ives artist community she lived in, which included Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Tango, 2003. Part of the Paintings in Hospitals Collection

Barns-Graham found making prints a liberating experience.

From 1991, she produced an astonishing array, toying with colours and forms to create series of images, of which Earth Series was a major set.​

From 1998 onwards, she collaborated with Carol Robertson and Robert Adam of Graal Press, who offered the artist a range of new possibilities through the use of water-based inks. These allowed Barns-Graham’s brush marks to be captured on acetate. Her Millennium series was created in 2000.​

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Millennium Red, 2000. Part of the Paintings in Hospitals Collection

The last prints of The Wind Dance Series, completed before Barns-Graham died in 2004,​ were published posthumously by Graal Press who had carefully mapped all the designs she intended to publish in her lifetime.​

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Millennium Blue, 2000. Part of the Paintings in Hospitals Collection

See more of our Collection Highlights...