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Celia Sitting in a Director’s Chair

David Hockney
1980

The sitter, the textile designer Celia Birtwell, was born in Prestwich near Bury in 1941 and lived there until the age of 13.

The artist, David Hockney, was born in Bradford and went on to attend the Royal College of Art in London. He went on to become one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century.

The sitter, Celia Birtwell, studied Textile Design at the Salford School of Art In 1959. She was married to designer Ossie Clark. 

Birtwell worked at home designing textiles for Clark, who would use his skill in cutting and understanding of form, together with her knowledge of fabrics and textures to produce haute couture for the people who created 1960s culture.

During the 60’s she became David Hockney’s muse.  He painted and drew her many times.  She features most memorably in his painting Mr and Mrs Clarke and Percy (Tate, London).