Trinity House Paintings
Best known for her bold still-lives that are saturated with colour and inventive in their compositions, Fedden's work is reminiscent of Braque and Matisse. Nevertheless, Mary Fedden herself once stated "I really float from influence to influence...I found the early Ben Nicholsons fascinating as were the paintings of his wife Winifred. I also admire the Scottish artist Anne Redpath and the French painter Henri Hayden".
Mary Fedden studied at the Slade School of Fine Arts, London from 1932 to 1936. She then returned to Bristol where she painted and taught until World War II broke out. In 1951, she married the artist Julian Trevelyan. She went on to teach painting at the Royal College of Art from 1958 to 1964, the first woman tutor to teach in the painting school. Her pupils included David Hockney and Allen Jones. She subsequently taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School at Cobham in Surrey, from 1965 to 1970.
The artist has exhibited in solo shows throughout the UK every year since 1950 and continues to paint at her riverside studio in Hammersmith. Although her 'open-studio' days, where she met and greeted collectors of her work each year, now cannot happen due to becoming so frantic with people attempting to meet the artist, she continues to be a sharp and witty character on the British art scene.
Fedden has become a highly important figure to British 20th-century art history and synonymous with works inspired by the Cornish coast. The best of Fedden's still-life pieces show small collections of objects that are significant to her. These pieces will include colourful fruits and gourds that interplay with monochrome, angular forms.
Fedden was elected a Royal Academician in the Senior Order in 1992