Oak Cottage, Oil on Canvas

Cyril (known as Charles) Mahoney (1903 – 1968) studied at the Royal College of Art with Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious. The three artists won the commission to paint the murals at Morley College in Southwark between 1928 and 1930. Charles’s contribution was the central panel in the hall depicting seven large figures and titled ‘The Pleasures of Life’. He was a frequent visitor to Great Bardfield, helping Edward Bawden to decorate Brick House, and sharing his love of gardens with Edward and with John Aldridge.

Charles shared his own earthly paradise, Oak Cottage at Wrotham in Kent, with his wife Dorothy (Bishop) from the end of WWII until his death in 1968. Like many of the Bardfield artists, he had a love of the domestic and the overlooked scene. We have a room full of wonderful works by Charles Mahoney currently on show in the Gibson Room at the Fry Art Gallery, in an exhibition in collaboration with Liss Llewellyn, named ‘The Pleasures of Life’ after the Morley murals.

Charles Mahoney – the Pleasures of Life is in the Gibson Room at the Fry Art Gallery until 27th October 2024.