The Fountaine Inn Launches ‘Sheila Bownas Studio’ to Celebrate Work of Linton Artist

A guest bedroom at The Fountaine Inn, Linton, was once the creative hub of pattern designer and artist Sheila Bownas.

‘The Studio,’ in Minns Barn just behind the inn, has been refurbished to incorporate a selection of Sheila’s designs, including patterns and motifs inspired  by views from outside the window and beyond in Linton village.

Born in 1925, Sheila Catherine Bownas lived in Linton-in-Craven, where her parents Reg and Minnie owned and ran the village general store.

Displaying a natural talent from an early age and with the encouragement of her art mistress at Skipton Girls’ High School, Sheila secured a junior art scholarship to attend Skipton Art School from 1941 to 1946. She later gained a county art scholarship to attend the prestigious Slade School of Art in London. Here she won several prizes for her work, including the 1948 summer competition for ‘Figures Beneath Trees’ and five of Sheila’s paintings were exhibited at The Royal Academy of Arts.

After graduating in 1950 she pursued a career as a freelance designer, supplying patterns to clients including Liberty and Marks and Spencer, and moved between London and Linton for more than a decade before finally settling in her beloved Dales for the rest of her life.

‘The Art of Pattern’ an exhibition celebrating Sheila’s work, on the 10th anniversary of her death, is currently running at The Mercer Gallery in Harrogate, and was recently featured on the BBC News.

Fountaine manager Chris Gregson has overseen the refurbishment, and is very pleased with the results:

“We are so proud to be able to showcase some of Sheila’s work, and delighted that it is now being discovered by a new audience.  Our guests will love staying in what was Sheila’s studio, and enjoy being surrounded by her inspirational and colourful designs while they stay with us.”