Isobel HEATH

Isobel Atterbury HEATH

Isobel Heath was born in Yorkshire, and studied under William Ritson, Robert Blatchford and at Colarossi's in Paris before going to Leonard FULLER's St Ives School of Painting  in the late 1930s. She first exhibited on Show Day in St Ives in 1940.

She was married for a time to Dr Marc Prati, the political correspondent to La Stampa of Turin, whom she met when he was a prisoner of war. By him she had a son. Isobel painted in watercolours and produced some large figure paintings in oils; she also made a number of pencil portraits.

During WWII she worked for the Ministry of Information, drawing and painting factory workers in the munitions and camouflage factories. It was also at this time that she completed a number of pencil portraits of American troops and local characters. According to Tovey, these wartime works are some of her best.

In Cornwall, Isobel lived at Bosun's Nest, Carthew, near Clodgy, St Ives. Resigning from STISA in 1949, she became a Founder member of the breakaway group, The Penwith Society of Artists. Isobel did not remain for long, resigning in 1950 due to the A,B,C group system which she declined to join - alongside Peter LANYON, Sven BERLIN and others. She rejoined STISA in 1957, exhibiting with them for the rest of her life.

Her studio was in Custom House Lane, St Ives but she often spent days out on the moors painting, staying overnight in her van. She published three books: Passing Thoughts (1971), Love (1973) and Reflections (1978). She died in St Ives.


Painter of landscapes in watercolours in Expressionist Abstraction (Buckman); also noted for portraits

works and access

Works include: In A War Factory (1949);  Hannibals Carn from the Brocolli FieldSunflowerNorth Coast, Cornwall; Farm buildings; The coast near to Lands End; Porthloe Cove, Cornwall; Porthmeor Studios (1939 w/c); The Last Supper


STISA 1945, Summer 1947 and Winter 1947 Touring Shows

 RWS Galleries, London ( Coordinator) The Cornish Experiment Exhibition 1962

Falmouth Art Gallery Women Artists in Cornwall 1880-1940 (Group)1996


Penwith Society of Arts in Cornwall 1949-50 (Founder member)

STISA 1945-49, 1957-82

misc further info



Axten (2004) Bryan Pearce & his artist friends

Buckman (2006) Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p329)

Hendra (Lander Gallery, Truro)

Tovey (2003) Creating a Splash

Wallace (1996) Women Artists in Cornwall 1880-1940 Exhibition catalogue

Whybrow (1994) St Ives