JCR Art Gallery Launches Hilary Term Exhibition 2018 ‘Mary Fedden: A voice of her own’

26th January 2018

On Friday 19th January, Pembroke College JCR Art Gallery opened its doors for a private view of the Hilary Term exhibition ‘Mary Fedden: A voice of her own’. The following article is written by Joseph Mead (Economics and Management, 2016), the current Chair of the JCR Art Fund.

Mary Fedden was an artist best known for her bold, vivid paintings and imaginative still life compositions. Several works by Fedden are displayed alongside accompanying works by her husband Julian Trevelyan, along with pieces by their contemporaries selected from the JCR Art Fund collection, including Mary Newcomb, John Minton and John Piper.

The exhibition was the product of a collaboration between multiple Oxbridge colleges and a private lender, in addition to the Pembroke JCR Art Fund Collection; with generous loans from both Nuffield and New College, Oxford as well as the New Hall Art Collection in Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.

The Gallery was opened to the public for a viewing and more detailed information on the pieces and history of the Gallery was presented by Clara Chivers, the Art Fund Curator, who covered the history of Fedden (1915 - 2012), describing her early life and experience of World War II before meeting her husband Julian Trevelyan (1910 - 1968), who she married in 1951. Clara highlighted the two paintings at the start of the exhibition, Fedden’s Girls in Provence (1961) and Trevelyan’s Spanish Landscape (1956), which were inspired by the couple’s travels together in Europe.

She also discussed Fedden and Trevelyan’s relationship, noting Fedden’s view of Trevelyan as her best critic, having remarked after his death ‘I miss his bright discerning eye everyday’. The exhibition spans four decades of work from the artists, showcasing the transformation of style and a heightened experimentation with artistic media.

Visitors then had the opportunity to enjoy the works before attending a drinks reception hosted by the College. Personally, I find the exhibition to be full of charm, weaving a tale of the travels of a sweet and loving couple throughout their time together, resulting in a series that provides both a both a calming and positive experience for the viewer.

This exhibition runs from 17th January - 9th March 2018 at the Pembroke College JCR Art Gallery. Open to the public Wednesdays and Fridays 12pm - 2pm. Entrance on 5 Brewer Street, Oxford, OX1 1QN.

Pembroke College’s JCR Art Fund Collection was the first collection to be established by an Oxford college. The JCR Art Gallery is currently used to display a host of unique and vibrant external exhibitions, as well as a collection of post-war and contemporary works owned by a fund created by the student body.​

Since its opening in 2015, it has brought to the public eye, via a team of student invigilators, a collection consisting of over 200 paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and prints, containing works by some of the most notable post-war British artists such as Sir Terry Frost, Dame Elisabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick and John Minton, among others. ​

The Pembroke College JCR Art Collection Fund is currently responsible for the management of the collection, as well as fulfilling its aims of alleviating student hardship and promoting local and upcoming artists and their works.