Fedden, Mary (6 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 6: Tape 4: Side A: Description of using watercolours; only used watercolours since accident; asked for watercolour paintings to give to charity auctions. Description of drawing; mentions liking to vary the way she works. Likes collage; started collage using JT’s discarded copies of prints. Remarks on disliking starting a new paintings; description of choice of materials and painting one picture at once. Mentions having her heart broken in Bristol. Lived at home in Bristol from 1936-1939; father died in 1938. Description of being a land girl when war started; commented that farmer was horrid but his wife was lovely; MF worked hard; anecdote about crying in the calf shed; mentions bombing at night on Filton Aerodrome next to farm; made good friends with family MF lived with; no painting during the war. Remarks on father’s severity; anecdote about returning late from dances with boys. Returned to Bristol after a year to live with ill mother; joined Women’s Voluntary Service [WVS]. Description of time in London with friend from Bristol, Maise Meiklejohn, [MM]. MM worked at the Arts’ Theatre; MF painted propaganda murals in Harrod’s store. Mentions leaving for Sicily with JT. Mentions Peter Ustinov at the Arts’ Theatre and Jocelyn [Herbert] and Christopher Fry. Description of painting the Festival of Britain mural at the Television Pavillion; anecdote about meeting Hugh Casson; anecdote about the sign-writer’s union strike; mentions Leonard Rosoman and Humphrey Spender also working on the project. Remarks on television (enjoys Richard Attenborough programs). Description of political opinion.

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