A NEW art exhibition which celebrates the friendship of two historic local artists is now open.

The exhibition, dubbed 'the art of friendship' is now open at the Braintree Museum.

Running until July 2, it displays the works of Denise Hoyle and Marianne Straub.

The exhibition explored their pair's friendship and their collaboration between the 1950s and 1970s in Essex.

The pair specialise in collage and textile works.

The Denise, from France and Marianne, from Switzerland, both settled in Great Bardfield in the 1950s and struck up a strong friendship.

Denise first came to Great Bardfield in 1954 to visit an exhibition.

She was inspired by a watercolour by Walter Hoyle and eventually the pair married.

Marianne Straub joined the textile manufacturing firm, Warner & Sons, in 1950 as the driving force behind the industrial woven fabrics of the business.

The company was based in Braintree and in 1953 Marianne moved to Great Bardfield.

By the late 1950s Denise was a mother to two young children and in her spare time took to creating collages from magazines given to her by Marianne, as well as sweet wrappers and newspaper

Denise’s artworks were made at her kitchen table while her children slept, this is juxtaposed with Marianne’s work for Warner & Sons where she designed fabrics for some of the most prestigious interiors worldwide, including ocean liners and embassy buildings.

Many of Marianne’s fabrics from the Warner Textile Archive collection at the Warner Textile Archive, which is owned by the Braintree District Museum Trust, will feature alongside Denise Hoyle’s private collection of collages, watercolours and ceramics.

A selection of watercolours by Hoyle will be for sale in the Museum Shop.

The exhibition was opened by Emma Mason from the Emma Mason Gallery who helped deliver the exhibition by loaning the works by Denise Hoyle. T

She said: “It is wonderful to have the story and creativity of Denise Hoyle and Marianne Straub on display together for the first time at Braintree Museum, bringing it back to North Essex where it was created.”

Sophie Jemma, Archivist at the Warner Textile Archive added: “Marianne Straub was an important textile designer from the twentieth century and her fabrics are a key part of the collections within the Warner Textile Archive.

"It is a great opportunity to see a large display of her work together.”