Cecile Elstein came from Cape Town, South Africa where she was influenced by spaciousness, sharp light and deep shades. It is where she first experienced mountains, forests, sand, sun and sea. Her natural way of living was to engage with making things from found materials. Her lifelong pursuit of knowledge and learning has included continuing formal and informal education.
In 1961 Max Cecile and Maureen emigrated from Apartheid South Africa to live in England, UK.
1965 Cecile met the Surrealist, painter-potter Catherine Yarrow. Cecile became her private pupil studying ceramics until 1969. As such, she became part of a community of immigrant artists in London. Amongst those Beatrice Lyssy from Central School of Art taught drawing. Ewan Henderson had a studio next to Catherine shared his methods of making pottery. Otto Rauch sculptor from Thun, Switzerland visited from time to time. He invited Cecile and her family to to visit him in Thun where they all were recipients of his drawing school.
Elstein develops her projects from the necessity to adapt, repair and celebrate. A range of materials and methods researched, designed and constructed through playful experimentation.
In 1970 Elstein moved to Southampton. Over the next 7 years, she developed through drawing, experience, experimentation and study. At her workshop in Southampton, she initiated a drawing group. Molly Dicker etcher, Peter Folks water colourist and painter Frank Spears. Attending West Surrey College of Art and Design she studied sculpture. Her tutor Ian Walters became a helpful friend.
In 1977 Elstein moved to Manchester. Continues to develop her work with a variety of communities including SHAPE. 1976 Cecile designed and built a pine play structure for disabled children. 1996 A temporary Rope and metal installation for Wimpole Hall Gardens in Cambridgeshire. 2010 A Sundial for Marie Louise Garden in Manchester. From 2001- ongoing Cecile Elstein and Margaret Crowther, set up Didsbury Drawing.
A more detailed CV is available. Requests for purposed information is available through the website contact form.