I Managed to persuade my husband to drive to Surrey to visit a little Chapel that I’ve been wanting to see since I saw it on an episode of ‘Sex and Sensibility – The Allure of Art Nouveau – British Cities’ a BBC series about all things Art Nouveau, must of watched this series a few times now and never get bored of it.
The Chapel was built and designed by Mary Watts (Mary Fraser-Tytler) between 1894 and 1904. Mary was also the wife of painter George F Watts.
Mary was a follower of the Home Arts and Industries Association, the focus of the association was to teach arts and crafts to the working classes and provide support in rural communities, she believed that everyone had the ability to creatively produce objects of beauty if given the opportunity.
Mary organized evening classes for the local villagers where she taught terracotta and ornament modelling, many of the villagers took part in creating tiles for the chapel, she later co founded the Compton Potters’Art Guild, a sustainable business that helped to train and employ a large number of potters that produced ceramics for a national market.
The interior of this Chapel is gorgeous, its walls are beautifully adorned with angels and nature inspired imagery. I took a few snaps whilst I was there for reference.
The visit has inspired me to try and incorporate some of its essence into my new artwork, which I will be exhibiting at the Strand Gallery with The North London Artist Network in November.