Mary Fairclough exhibition offers glimpse of Keynsham long past

Published on: 30 Jun 2015

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An exhibition looking back at the work of Keynsham artist Mary Fairclough has been unveiled at the town's library.

Keynsham Civic Society welcomed guests, including members of Keynsham and Saltford History Society, library staff, Councillor Alan Hale, town council representatives and members of the public to the launch on June 16.

Paintings and illustrations by Mary, who was born in 1913 and became an active campaigner in her hometown, are now hung on the wall of the library’s first floor, with examples of her books and the smooth painted pebbles she called “Cloughstones” on show in a case on the ground floor.

Speaking at the opening, Keynsham Civic Society’s Iris Lerpiniere said the pieces on show were “just the tip of the iceberg” from a prolific artist, who produced sketches, watercolours, linocut, book illustrations and more and who would hold several exhibitions a year at Keynsham's Fear Hall.

Miss Lerpiniere recalled how it was a poster by Mary advertising a public meeting on developments in the town that inspired her to get involved in campaigning.

“I am proud to say she was a friend, she was a truly remarkable person,” she said, adding: “I hope you enjoy the exibition, it brings back memories of Keynsham long past.”

Among those attending the launch were Keynsham residents April and Peter Woodward, who brought along two of their own much-loved pieces of Mary’s work to add to the exhibition – a Cloughstone and a pendant featuring a portrait of a man sporting an exotic hat, the feather on which at closer inspection curls into an ammonite.

Libraries development manager Julia Burton thanked everyone who had contributed items to the exhibition. She added: “This is the first exhibition at Keynsham Lbrary – we hope it will become a space for community exhibitions going into the future.”

The Mary Fairclough exhibition is at Keynsham Library until July 11 and is open to the public during library opening hours.

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