Saturday, 19 December 2015

Great Mural at Cribbs Causeway

If I had been a little girl then the big pink glittering castle would have been amazing ......
.... but what I found was better. Along a corridor in John Lewis leading to the loos was a huge mural....If I could have bought anything that day then that's what I would have bought.

On another bit of wall was a brass plaque with a description.
It is called 'Midsummer Eve Pageant' and was painted by Mary Adshead (1904-1995).
Mary Adshead was the secretary the Society of mural painters and created over thirty murals for churches and other public buildings. this mural depicts the Medieval Guilds of Bristol , midsummer eve fair. open air torchlit processions, dances, games ,feasts and ale were all supplied free by the city corporation.
Her design won a competition organised by The Society of Mural painters in the 1950's  and it was bought by Lewis's for the restaurant of its Broadmead department store.  In 1996, it was restored and moved to its current position in John Lewis at Cribbs Causeway.

Mary studied at the Slade School of Art 1922-25 and married fellow artist and illustrator Stephen Bone. In her second year of college , Professor Tonks selected her to complete a mural commission for Shadwell boys club.  After college she juggled her time painting and running a home,cooking for a family of seven, including  parents and three children. She appears to have been a very busy and practical lady, not letting anything stop her following her art. In later years she became lame from climbing ladders so would even crawl if she couldn't use a stick.. Mary was also an active participant in the Women's International Art Club and supported her husband with fund raising for the Artist's Refugee Committee.

I would love to have met them both. I do find that because I spend so much time painting I miss out on knowing and meeting other craftspeople....never enough hours in the day. Thank heavens for my friend Jane, owner of The Winds of Change Gallery. I'm lucky to meet some of the artists that display their work in her Winchcombe Gallery. It might be a little gallery in a small country town but she really has some great art and crafts for sale.

So, Thank you John Lewis for keeping and displaying this lovey piece of art and for buying Mary Adshead's mural in the first place.


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