Posted 29th May 2009
Watts Contemporary Gallery
This week marked a further milestone in the restoration of Watts Gallery as we broke through the wall from the Livanos Gallery (the first Gallery) in to the new Showcase Gallery (formerly the Apprentice Potters’ washroom). Staff and volunteers watched with ringing ears as the thick solid concrete wall was tackled by two men from Barwick Construction. The opening of this door suddenly creates a new vista for the Gallery which can be enjoyed from the Graham Robertson Gallery, through the Long Gallery, through the Livanos Gallery, right through to the wall of the Showcase Gallery. The Curator has some exciting plans as to which painting will draw the eye from one end of the Gallery to the other. I am hoping that our Friends, donors, supporters and visitors will relish the new discoveries of the restored Gallery as well as enjoying the more familiar aspects which they treasure. As we progress I continue to appreciate the faith and hope of the many donors and supporters who have made this urgent and much needed work possible.
Another moving occasion last week was the launch of the Tree of Life at Loseley Fields Primary School. Helen Hienkens-Lewis, Head of Learning at Watts Gallery, so generously supported by the Peter Harrison Foundation and the Heritage Lottery Fund, has been recreating the community project of the Watts Cemetery Chapel, by working with a group of young children in creating a Tree of Life, inspired by Mary Watts’s Tree of Life in the chapel. As we unveiled the Tree outside the school, with its ceramic leaves designed by children, staff, volunteers and Watts Gallery folk, it was moving to think that some of the children taking part in this project were probably the great grandchildren of those 70 people who worked with Mary Watts in creating the Cemetery Chapel over 100 years ago. We are lucky to be able to draw from the longlasting vision of our founders in taking the Watts idea of Art for All in to the future for the benefit of future generations.