Sheila Fell R.A. (1931-1979) Wedding in Aspatria II, 1958 101.5 x 126.5 cm. (40 x 49 3/4 in.)

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Lot 7
Sheila Fell R.A.
(1931-1979)
Wedding in Aspatria II, 1958 101.5 x 126.5 cm. (40 x 49 3/4 in.)

Sold for £ 10,800 (US$ 14,979) inc. premium
Sheila Fell R.A. (1931-1979)
Wedding in Aspatria II, 1958
oil on canvas
101.5 x 126.5 cm. (40 x 49 3/4 in.)

Footnotes

  • Exhibited:
    London, Hayward Gallery, Sheila Fell, 1990, no.14: this exhibition travelled to Salford, Ayr, Kendall, Eastbourne and Jarrow.

    Fell's native Cumberland was the subject of her work, 'the world of a child growing up in the dark, unvisited country around the village of Aspatria' (Sir Alan Bowness, The Observer, 21 January 1962). 1958, the year of the present work, was also the year of Fell's second exhibition at the Beaux Arts Gallery (the first was held in 1955). During this early period Fell's work was characteristically dark and yet 'she allowed herself, about 1958, two unashamedly romantic works, Wedding, Aspatria, I and II. In the large landscapes the bride and groom, quite small, are seen among the tombstones near the church. The first is a vertical composition, and has all the strange qualities of the early landscapes; the second, more loosely painted, is horizontal, with cold light in a turbulent sky. It is important to stress that the haunting poetry of these two pictures is conveyed without any narrative or literary references. The shapes and their relation to each other, the rhythums, the proportions and quality of the light and dark, speak directly, in their own visual language, to some part of our consciousness, awakening responses which are similiar, in the case of the upright picture, to those aroused by Coleridge, and, in that of the more wild and stormy horizontal one, by Emily Brontë. These feelings - I hardly know whether to call them that, or 'thoughts', or 'ideas', seem to exist in us at a height - or depth - where they are not yet channelled into any form of expression, such as words, visual art, or music; and it is a mark of Sheila's clear-headed professionalism that, although she was musical, and loved poetry, she never confused the provinces of the different arts. [...] The dark paintings and beautiful charcoal drawings of these early years have the mysterious force of legends and old ballads, and at this time Sheila seems to have been driven above all by her obsession with the countryside which was the only world she knew in her childhood and first youth.' (Helen Lessore, 'The Work of Sheila Fell', Sheila Fell, Hayward Gallery Catalogue, 1990, pp.6-7)
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