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Beryl Cook

Many years ago I was at the National Theatre for a play I have long forgot.

In the interval I went to their bookshop and came across THE WORKS by Beryl Cook.

The cover alone reduced my theatre-going companion and myself to uncontrollable hysterics.

Beryl Cook occupies a unique spot on art as she is very funny.

Some might say that cartoonists are just as funny but they are political, using words, but Beryl is observational.

Her humour is seaside postcard: ribald, vulgar nuances and naughty.

She is not – and would not pretend to be – a draughtsman: her figures tend to be round and cheerful.

This type of artist, though incredibly popular, rarely gets an exhibition so I am so pleased that Beryl Cook was afforded a retrospective at the Studio Voltaire, London SW4.

She is not the first artist to hail from Plymouth.

Founder of the Royal Academy Sir Joshua Reynolds was also from the naval port.