Davison was a Cambridge graduate, who began his creative life as a poet. In the mid-1940s he was invited to St Ives by Patrick HERON, and decided there that art would pull him forward to life as an artist. At first this was drawing and painting and this work was abstract in the modernist tradition, simple and beautiful in both colour and structure. His brief first marriage had broken up prior to coming to Cornwall and here he met his second wife, Margaret MELLIS, whose marriage to Adrian STOKES the writer, was also coming apart. The two married and on honeymoon went to Venice, where they both used the opportunity to paint. Soon after they moved to the south of France (Cap d'Antibes), and then upon return to Britain they moved to Suffolk where they would spend the rest of their lives, though exhibiting elsewhere.

From 1952 Davison's art became that of collagist, and he never returned to painting. His skill with torn paper and colours juxtaposed on one another is acknowledged as supreme of its kind. There is much on the internet about his skill and promise, though to this day he remains undiscovered as the major talent that he is considered. The Goldmark videos on YouTube, are excellent and instructive of his unfettered vision.




Collagist, drawing, painter

works and access

Arts Council

Redfern Gallery


1983: Solo show, Hayward Gallery, London

1989: The Experience of Painting, South Bank Centre

1992: 'Artists from Cornwall' Exh, RWE, Bristol

2007-8: Kettle's Yard, Cambridge



misc further info



Buckman (2006) Artists in Britain since 1945

Exh notes, RWE, 1992

Hoyle, H (Oct 2013 Women Artists in Cornwall 'Margaret Mellis and St Ives Modernism'