Raverarts Ltd (pronounced Rav[as in satnav]-er-arts) promotes and produces talks, exhibitions, performances and drama around the art, lives and writings of Gwen and Jacques Raverat (pronounced Rav-er-rah), their cousins, and their Neo-Pagan and Bloomsbury friends in the first half of the 20th Century.
Their stories are mostly yet to be told; stories of a group of friends and cousins in the first half of the Twentieth Century that Virginia Woolf dubbed Neo-Pagans, a group that began circling around Rupert Brooke in the first two decades of the century. "New Women" and key to the Neo-Pagans, Gwen Raverat and Frances Cornford were first cousins and granddaughters of Charles Darwin. Gwen would become a leading light in the establishment of wood-engraving as an art form, while Frances became an award-winning poet whose style defied categorisation.
Their wider circles included: Leonard and Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell; Roger Fry; Maynard and his brother Geoffrey Keynes; Lytton Strachey; Ka Cox and others on the edge of the Bloomsbury Group; their cousin, the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams; Eily & Bernard Darwin and in France, Andre Gide and Paul Valery.
The intertwining stories are just as fascinating as those of the much discussed Bloomsbury Group. Some have already been told: Gwen Raverat's memoir Period Piece, a bestseller ever since it was published in 1952, while William Pryor's Virginia Woolf and the Raverats tells the extraordinary story of their relationships as Jacques Raverat died of MS. Then there is Frances Spalding's exemplary, comprehensive and compelling biography Gwen Raverat.
But there so many untold stories for Raverats to bring to light: their previously unpublished writings and unknown painting and drawing, and, above all, the letters that flew between the Raverats and their circle (they often wrote 2 or 3 a day) reveal so much of the struggles, tragedies and triumphs of Gwen and Frances as they carved out their identities as independent women artists, as they coped with depression, as they discovered a visceral connection to their art.
With this treasure to research and understand, Raverarts hopes to inspire modern audiences, while educating and creating contemporary events, talks and exhibitions.
We are delighted to have worked with a wide range of organisations across the UK, see our what's on section for full details.