Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Feature: Watts Mortuary Chapel

Another place on my bucket list to visit before I die:
Watts Mortuary Chapel in the village of Compton, Surrey, England.  

The creation of the chapel was orchestrated by the artist Mary Fraser-Tytler. Many villagers contributed to both the design and construction of the ornately carved gesso plaster paintings adorning the interior walls as well as the terracotta exterior. The intricate weaving of design was obviously influence by Celtic calligraphic manuscripts but I also see a hint of Indian architectural painting as well.  Perhaps this was influenced by Mary Fraser-Tytler's early life in India.  Regardless it is a unique and stunning example of both the Symbolist and Arts & Crafts movements.

Inside the chapel "the morning stars sing together" and the tree of life grows up to the heavens.

Creation from chaos is natural.
We've come to a place where we've realized that we have this actual physical need to create things. We've discovered that we hate people en masse, we're sick of homogenized culture, and these realizations have left holes in our hearts. We create to fill those holes, to be able to sleep at night knowing we've done something, even a small something, to confront the manufactured culture that is currently being churned out.
-Renee Rigdon Zabet Stewart

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