Magic Garden

Portmeirion Cymru Magic Garden

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Item: 9000006243


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Product Description

by Alwyn W. Turner & Thamasin Marsh

Susan Williams-Ellis was one of the best-known and most influential British designers of the late-20th century. As the founder of Portmeirion Potteries, she helped shape the style of the 1960s and created the Botanic Garden range, still exported to more than 50 countries worldwide.

Less well known was her lifelong infatuation with underwater exploration. It was an interest that led her, when she was already in her sixties, to start visiting tropical seas around the globe. Equipped with snorkel and an underwater drawing board, she spent the next 25 years sketching the life she observed, and producing a series of paintings that form a unique record of a world under threat from human intervention and climate change.

Towards the end of her life she staged the first exhibition of these pictures, while a documentary on BBC television brought the work to the attention of a wider public. Her wish to produce a book of the paintings, however, was left unfulfilled at her death in 2007.

Now, for the first time, these extraordinary pictures are being published, a tribute to a remarkable and distinctive artist. Also included are rare works from the early years of her career, including illustrations from two unpublished books of the 1940s and 1950s; Shore Life in Britain and The Complete Mermaid.



  • Susan Williams-Ellis

The Paintings

  • The Indian Ocean
  • Africa
  • The Caribbean
  • The Pacific

Unpublished Books

  • British Marine Life
  •  Pages: 175
  • Format: Hardback with dust jacket
  • Publisher: Portmeirion Ltd 2008
  • Edition: First edition
  • ISBN: 9780956014504

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"My book arrived beautifully wrapped and boxed ...perfect .... it will have pride of place on my book shelf"
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