© The Artist's Estate

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Untitled 1942
This collage was made during the Second World War, while Wells was working as a doctor on the Isles of Scilly. His friend, the artist Ben Nicholson, encouraged Wells to experiment in a collage technique. Wells was friendly with many of the St Ives artists in Nicholson's artistic circle. The radiating white lines of the collage echo the lines etched into the plastic planes in Naum Gabo's transparent sculptures. It has also been suggested that the curved shapes refer to the shape of a sailing boat, corresponding with Wells's interest in sailing, and that the circle is the sun or moon.

Glossary Open


An image constructed from found materials, such as photographs, paper or fabric, glued to a surface, sometimes with additional painted or drawn elements. It is an art form particularly associated with Dada and Surrealism.



  • Acc. No. GMA 4421
  • Medium Collage, gouache and pencil on card
  • Size 30.20 x 37.80 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by John Wells 2000; received 2001