The scaffolding is at last being dismantled

Posted by Admin on 16 Sep 2010, midnight


For several weeks, the main galleries at Watts Gallery have been filled with scaffolding, in order for the contractors to paint the gold ceiling. For visitors undertaking a hard hat tour, it has been essential that they use their imagination to see the final effect. As from today, the scaffolding is at last being dismantled and the full height of what used to be called the red galleries and the green galleries, now the Livanos Gallery, the Graham Robertson Gallery, the Long Gallery and the Isabel Goldsmith Patino Gallery. The painters have been working through the weekend to complete the gold on schedule, and the architect Adam Zombory-Moldovan was in on Saturday morning to see the paint dry and check the colour!

Taking visitors round the site, it is interesting how often I hear the observation "ah, now I see why you needed £10m for this work - this is a huge project!".

We are now closer to our target to complete the Hope emergency appeal, just £70,000 to go, and as all fundraisers know, it is the last bit which is the hardest.

We have all been so moved by the support we have received since our contractor went in to administration. Just last week, our anonymous angel, confirmed a very generous pledge to meet the increased number of Friends. This is wonderful support. On Monday, a visit of the Friends was most generously hosted by the artist Alexander Creswell and his wife Mary, at their home in Ewhurst, which was designed by Christopher Turnor, the same architect as Watts Gallery. It was fascinating seeing some of the same approaches to design, as well as enjoying the wonderful watercolours of Alex Creswell which will shortly be on exhibition at the Portland Gallery.

Two other artists who have leant their support to Watts Gallery are the artist Barry Martin and the sculptor Nic Fiddian Green. Barry Martin has most generously given a drawing of Watts's sculpture Clytie, which we hope to reproduce in aid of the Hope Emergency Appeal. Nic Fiddian Green has just launched his Horse at Water monumental sculpture at Marble Arch, and talks about the inspiration for his work, provided by Watts's sculpture of Hugh Lupus. We are hoping to show some of Nic's work in the grounds of the Gallery in due course.

This support is evidence that Watts's work and legacy continues to resonate with contemporary artists and we are so grateful for their support and vision for Compton.