Fedden, Mary (4 of 7).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2004-11-08, 2005-04-11

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, London

  • Interviewees

    Fedden, Mary, 1915-2012 (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy, 1954- (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 4: Tape 3: Side A: Description of MF’s paintings in the Royal Academy summer show; anecdote about being ill on Christmas. Explains use of colour; changes colours according to mood; doesn’t like painting in green. Remarks on Julian Trevelyan’s [JT] influence on her style; JT encouraged MF to paint less traditionally; JT would comment on her pictures. Description of how MF paints; uses photographs and still-life; dreams about her paintings; mentions that dreams help her to paint. Description of trip to Uganda and Kenya in Africa with JT; mentions that trip inspired JT’s painting but not hers. Trips also to Jordan, Egypt and Morocco; loves desert landscapes. Description of trip to Jordan; anecdote about why she went to Jordan; mentions staying in the palace; brought her niece (Anna Fedden) with her who was studying archaeology; both went to Petra. Mentions that she never paints away from her studio, only draws; drew people and landscapes when abroad; comments on Jordanian clothing; description of Moroccan women’s clothes. Brief discussion of JT’s death; she continued to paint; doesn’t remember particular paintings after JT’s death. Description of deserts; anecdote about snow in Turkey on a trip with JT. Description of trip to Egypt in [May] 1948; MF went with her mother to her brother’s wedding in Cairo, Egypt; regrets not going up the Nile; brother was a parson; MF comments on religion; went to church as a child; mentions not believing in God; anecdote about confirmation; remarks that belief is like being in love.

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