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Leslie Roy Hobdell (1911-1961)
Leslie Roy Hobdell grew up in Herne Hill, South London and studied at Camberwell School of Art and Crafts under Stanley Thorogood. Leaving Camberwell in 1927 he joined the Bruce Angrove Commercial Studio where he worked until 1932 when he moved to Lintas. He attended life classes at St Martin's School of Art, and apart from a brief period during the War remained at Lintas up until his death in 1961.
In the late 1930s, Hobdell met Angus McBean with whom he shared a love of the theatre and ballet. Their friendship led to Hobdell working on a number of McBean's backdrops, and painting trompe l'oeil murals for him in 53 Endell Street and in Suffolk. The Picture Post issue of February 17th 1940 features their collaboration on the surrealist article 'How to Photograph a Beauty'. Stage design was to remain one of Hobdell's passions: he designed sets for the Ballets Negres in the late 1940s, and sets for The Magic Flute and other productions. Through the world of opera he met Dame Joan Sutherland, a friend of long standing.
Hobdell exhibited his work, notably at the Redfern Gallery in 1951, and with Arthur Jeffress Gallery. For the Festival of Britian Exhibition of 1951 he painted a series of flower paintings on glass, and some large trompe l'oeil doorways for the Observer Film Festival of 1956. From time to time Hobdell sold his paintings through Peter Jones in Sloane Square. These he signed with the names of his two cats, Giles and Emma Farquharson.