We are sad to report that Monica Larkin (Helliwell) died recently in Shirley, at the age of 96. She passed away peacefully. A Blackheath original, we will remember her talent, her calm and friendly disposition, and loyalty to the Society over so many years.
Monica joined the Blackheath Art Society as one of its original members when it was formed in 1947 by tutors at Goldsmiths and Camberwell Art Schools who had returned from WorldWar II in a spirit of optimism and hope for the future. She was on the Committee for many years and was a past Chair.
A student at Goldsmiths, Monica was a classmate of future fashion icon, Mary Quant, and under the tuition of Constance Howard, they worked together on a vast collaged textile for the 1951 Festival of Britain. Monica was thrilled to go, in 2019, to the V & A exhibition of Mary Quant’s fashion designs. A young fashion student she met there was also thrilled to be sitting next to and talking to someone who had actually worked with Mary Quant!
Later at Sir John Cass Art School, Monica studied jewellery and enamelling before a long art teaching career in Stockwell Teacher Training College, then in Bexley and Greenwich. In retirement she continued to make beautiful jewellery and small textiles which she showed at the Society’s art exhibitions until well after her 90th birthday. These were much appreciated and bought by the visitors.
We shall miss you, Monica – RIP