1952 Mary Fedden

1952 Mary Fedden

by Mark Wardell

Mary Fedden: The Thames, 1952

Mary Fedden (1915–2012) studied at the Slade under theatre designer Vladimir Polunin and considered a career in stage design. She returned to her home town of Bristol for the duration of the Second World War, where she painted portraits and served in the Land Army. In 1951 she married Julian Trevelyan and their house at Durham Wharf on Chiswick Mall became a hub of artistic activity. Together, they travelled the world. Meanwhile the Thames remained a source of great inspiration for both. In 1992 she was elected to the Royal Academy.

The image we have chosen shows an oil painting on canvas of the river Thames as seen from Durham Wharf.

In November 2016 a sale was held at Sotheby’s to raise funds for the Wharf to be restored as an artistic centre for future generations. Proceeds from the sale will go towards the million-pound project to restore and develop the studios at Durham Wharf by recent Turner prize-winning architects, Assemble. The redevelopment will ensure that the place in which Fedden and Trevelyan lived and worked for many years remains a haven for a new generation of artists – whose work includes architecture, sculpture, photography, filmmaking and textile development. Thus the riverside studios will perfectly commemorate a couple who rarely missed an opportunity to bring together people and their ideas. Needless to say, the mural team supports this aim wholeheartedly.

Acknowledgement: The Estate of Mary Fedden, Swindon Art Gallery UK.