Julian Walking by Mary Fedden
- Acquired directly from the artist’s studio;
- 7.50 x 5.50 ins
19.05 x 13.97 cms
- Signed lower right 'Fedden 1985'
- Catalogue No:
- About Artwork
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In this wonderful work on paper, the artist has depicted her husband Julian Trevelyan amongst a bizarre and fantastical landscape. Mary Fedden had married Julian Trevelyan in 1951, after having first met him when she was just 18. Fedden often returned to the subject of her husband walking, especially in the years before his death in 1988, but what makes this work special is the obvious love that has gone into this work. She has used newspaper to make up the hills in the background and, with the addition of her curious clouds, Fedden has created a dreamlike scene. In 2008, she talked about her work in collage as so:
‘In the past a lot of my pictures included collage, although lately I haven’t used this approach very much. I enjoyed working with unexpected materials such as a piece of a painting that I didn’t much like, or a section from one of Julian’s etching proofs that he had rejected. I would tear out shapes and incorporate them by sticking them down and linking them together with gouache. I liked the way that one thing could become something quite different — for example, a New York skyscraper could become a curtain in a still life.’
Her joy and excitement in physically creating her collage works can be seen in Julian Walking with its newspaper hills and fantastical clouds.
Mary Fedden left school at the age of sixteen to study at the highly regarded Slade School of Art. After leaving the college she made a living teaching, painting portraits and producing stage designs for Sadlers Wells and the Arts Theatre.
At the outbreak of the Second World War Fedden served in the Land Army and the Woman’s Voluntary Service and was commissioned to produce murals for the war effort. In 1944 she was sent abroad as a driver for the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes. It was only in 1946 that Fedden returned to easel painting and began to develop her individual style, producing works that combine bold colour with carefully orchestrated compositions.
After the war, Fedden returned to easel painting and developed her individual style of still life painting. In an article in ‘The Artist’ magazine, Fedden wrote:
‘I really float from influence to influence. I found the early Ben Nicholson’s fascinating as were the paintings of his wife Winifred. I also admire the Scottish artist Anne Redpath and the French painter Henri Hayden.’
In 1951 Mary Fedden married the artist Julian Trevelyan who she had met before the war. They took a studio on the Thames River at Chiswick, where Fedden lived and worked until she passed away. Together, Trevelyan and Fedden travelled widely and even collaborated on a mural commission for Charing Cross Hospital. Fedden received several other commissions for murals, most importantly from the Festival of Britain (1951), the P & O Liner, Canberra (1961) as well as from schools and hospitals.
From 1958-1964 she taught at the Royal College of Art and was appointed the first female tutor in the Painting School. Her pupils included David Hockney and Allen Jones. Subsequently, Fedden taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School and was elected Royal Academician. From 1984 to 1988 she was President of the Royal West of England Academy. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath and an O.B.E. for her work.
At the outbreak of the...
If you'd like to learn more about Mary Fedden, visit the artist page.
About Mary Fedden
Acquired directly from the artist’s studio;
Private Collection, United Kingdom
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