Marthe Armitage: Chiswick House, 2005
Marthe Armitage trained at Chelsea School of Art just after the Second World War. She fitted her artistic work around family life, and was only able to work full time once her children had grown up. She lives on Strand-on-the-Green where she has a small adjacent studio containing a century-old offset lithographic printing press that she has owned for nearly 50 years.
Marthe creates hand-drawn designs, then hand-cuts lino blocks to create extraordinary wallpaper designs. Her images are drawn mainly from the natural beauty she sees around her – cow parsley, anemones, lily of the valley, cobwebs, and of course from her imagination. Her particular skill lies in making pictorial repeat designs.
In recent years, Marthe has become a star, her wallpaper in demand from subscribers to expensive design magazines. Her work featured in Daniel Ratcliffe’s film The Woman in Black, and she has recently started a collaboration with Jo Malone.
We have chosen a design based on the gardens at Chiswick House, and Marthe was the first artist to commit – immediately – to the mural project.
Acknowledgement: With thanks to Marthe Armitage.