Sheila Catherine Bownas was an artist who grew up in a small Dales village in the 1930s and gained a county art scholarship to attend the Slade School in London. Here she won several prizes and five of Sheila’s paintings were exhibited at The Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition.
As her career progressed she was drawn to surface pattern design and during the late 1950s and 1960s, Sheila worked on numerous commissions for Liberty of London, Crown Wallpapers and Marks and Spencer. She was not credited for her work and remained largely unknown until her death in 2007 when some of her designs were discovered hidden in a studio drawer. Chelsea Cefai came across the designs at auction and bought up the collection of more than 200 works. It was the quality of these designs that led Chelsea to devote her time to bringing Sheila Bownas’ midcentury patterns back to life.