Size: 12.5″ x 14.5″
Signed and dated: Fedden ’00
Framing: Italian 18th century black painted moulding frame
Provenance: Lena Boyle Fine Art
illustrated page 115, Mary Fedden Enigmas and Variations (Christopher Andreae 2007)
illustrated page 174, Mary Fedden and Julian Trevelyan – Life and Art by the River Thames (José Manser 2012)
‘Fruit’ is a vibrant example of Mary Fedden’s fairly unusual use of a mixture of gouache and collage in an artwork. In his book Mary Fedden Enigmas and Variations, Christopher Andreae refers to this technique and this particular painting:
“Though perhaps her least conventional medium, collage is now almost a century old as a way of making pictures. Sticking cut-out or torn fragments to the paper surface, which has a background of gouache washed over it, gives full play to her visual wit and compositional ingenuity. Her Surrealist side comes out, unexpectedly juxtaposing objects, textures and even different styles in a mix of knowing design and happy chance.
“It was during his lifetime that [Mary Fedden] began the process of making use of cast-off fragments from Julian Trevelyan’s rejected prints in her collages. He liked the result and its touch of mischief. She has continued this fascinating practice ever since, in works such as Fruit (2000). She described the process to John Russell Taylor in The Times in 1995. He had spotted a ‘basket in the studio full of dismembered prints’. She said, “You might think that is my wastepaper basket. Actually, it’s my collage basket.””
As mentioned previously, Mary Fedden had a rare talent for presenting everyday objects and simple themes in ‘staged’ compositions. She made brilliantly effective use of colour, again demonstrated by this dramatic collage ‘Fruit’. This is a really good example of one of Mary’s collages, incorporating both Julian Trevelyan’s discarded prints and torn scraps of other waste paper, all embellished with tissue, silvered paper and vibrant splashes of gouache. Quite a combination!
Fruit is a great example of Mary Fedden’s collages, making use of Julian Trevelyan’s prints. For this reason it has been selected for illustration in two major works on Mary Fedden: