Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The Painted Church

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

During the early part of my career as an architectural photographer I was lucky enough to be asked to do the photography for both the 1066: English Romanesque Art exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 1984 and the Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400 exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1987-88. This sparked a life-long interest in medieval art and architecture.

As part of my research before setting out to visit and photograph a new (to me) church one of the websites I would always visit was paintedchurch.org, Medieval Wall Painting in the English Parish Church, a labour of love put together by Anne Marshall over a period of some 18 years. It featured detailed academic articles on several themes of medieval wall painting as well as articles on hundreds of individual paintings in hundreds of parish churches. I was very disappointed when it disappeared from the internet in 2018.

Luckily I discovered that much of the site still existed on the Internet Archive and by saving nearly 400 pages and the associated photography I have managed to resurrect the site. In the process of doing this I have also updated and redesigned the look of the site to make it compatible with desktop, tablet and mobile platforms. I have also replaced some of the older photographs with some of mine where it gives a clearer view of the paintings than the original.

I actually completed work on this quite a few months ago, but  I didn’t want to republish the site without getting permission from Anne (or her family). Despite nearly six months of searching I haven’t been able to get in contact with Anne or with anyone who knows or knew her.

I have made the decision to make the site public in the hope that it will trigger some interest and maybe get me closer to getting in contact with Anne and getting her knowledge used again.

If Anne or any of Anne’s family would rather the site was taken offline, please get in touch with me via my any of my contact details on the home page of this website and I will do so.

My work has been very much a tribute to Anne Marshall. You can see the Painted Church website here.

The Watts Gallery and Chapel

Monday, August 19th, 2019

The Watts Gallery, Artists’ Village and Chapel lies on the edge of the village of Compton, just a couple of miles outside Guildford. The gallery is a celebration of the work of George Frederick Watts and his wife Mary. They married when he was 69 and she just 36. They moved to their house in Compton in 1891.

In 1895 Mary started teaching local people to model in clay and established a pottery business which became the Compton Potters’ Arts Guild. Between 1895 and 1904 Mary and the villagers worked on building the Watts Chapel. The chapel is a strange mix of Art Nouveau, Celtic revival and Romanesque. The exterior of the chapel is decorated with terracotta reliefs while the interior is a riot of painted stucco decoration. George Watts lived just long enough to see the chapel completed.

Read more…

Open Studio and Red Cross Exhibition

Monday, June 5th, 2017

As part of the Cornwall Open Studio scheme Paul Jackson, an old friend of mine, asked me if I’d show some of my photographs alongside his pots. The last day of the show coincided with opening their garden to the public to raise money for the Red Cross of which Rosie (Paul’s wife) is president of the Cornish branch. The weather started out damp and grey, but by the time the garden opened the sun came out and they had over 200 visitors, raising nearly £2,000. Read more…

The Chagall Windows at All Saints’ Church, Tudeley

Friday, November 18th, 2016

All Saints’ Church at Tudeley in Kent is famous worldwide for its stained glass windows by Russian artist Marc Chagall. The first of these was made in 1967 to commemorate the death of Sarah d’Avigdor-Goldsmid who drowned at the age of 21. When Chagall arrived for the installation of the east window and saw the church, he said, “It’s magnificent. I will do them all.” The last window was installed in 1985, the year of his death. Read more…

St George at St Botolph’s Church, Hardham

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Possibly the earliest depiction of St George in England is in the wall paintings at St Botolph’s Church, Hardham in West Sussex which date from the 12th century. Unusually, these paintings don’t show St George and the Dragon, (unless it was once in the space now taken up by the later window in the east wall of the nave). Those that do exist are of St George at the Battle of AntiochSt George before Datian (Diocletian) and St George on the Wheel. Read more…

Ravilious and The Cerne Abbas Giant

Monday, July 13th, 2015

I’ve now been twice to see the Eric Ravilious exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. I love his work, particularly the watercolours of the chalk downland and chalk hill figures. But I find his depiction of the Cerne Abbas Giant extremely puzzling. The giant is painted brown, rather than gleaming chalk white. Read more…