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Vanda Carter

My Mother The Surrealist

Judy Fletcher (1934 - 2020)

 

Artwork made by women has been so often overlooked, ignored or lost. No longer! This page is the art exhibition my mother never had. I hope you enjoy it.

 

In the 1950s, before she got married and had children, my mother Judy drew and painted. She studied at Wimbledon School of Art for a year and spent a year as an au pair in Paris exploring and soaking up culture. She never called herself an artist and she never had an exhibition of her work. A few of her paintings always hung on the walls in our house. People said they were strange. When I asked her why she did not continue to paint, she just shrugged her shoulders, frowned and said she had no time. After Judy died in 2020, we found a portfolio of several dozen more paintings, mainly dating from the mid-1950s.

 

Visiting the 'Angel of Anarchy' retrospective of the work of British-Argentinian Surrealist Eileen Agar (1899-1991) at the Whitechapel Gallery in 2021, I was struck by how much my mother's paintings resemble some of Agar's earlier work in style and themes. I had never before seen my mother's paintings in a context, as part of a wider genre or creative art tradition. My mother was a Surrealist. Why have I only just realised this?

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Artistic Thoughts

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Knowledge

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Pram Wheels

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Saute de Veau au Pamplemousse

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Vanishing Point

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Falling Angels

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Another Vanishing Point

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Disaster

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Juggler

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Infatuation

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Sixteen

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Aquaticism

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Double Dice

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Guildford Cathedral (1960s)

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In The Garden

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Seascape

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Two Fish

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The Music Room

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Fsmily Frieze

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Sailing

Collage (1970s)

Horse

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Signification

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