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Sunday, 1 May 2011

Saffron Walden and a trip to The Fry Art Gallery

Just last week we went to visit the Fry Art Gallery at Saffron Walden. I have known of its existence for a while, but weirdly, as its only 50 minute drive from me, I hadnt ever been. The Fry Art Gallery is tiny but filled with mid 20th century gems by Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious amongst others. Its a gallery of such Englishness. Cool muted colours and strong design flows through the word exhibited. At the moment there is an exhibition of the watercolours of Eric Ravilious. I have know his wood engravings for some time, but never seen the watercolours in the flesh.. And boy! they are wonderful. Restrained, muted and simply gorgeous. They have such a stillness to them.

The gallery itself is run by a set of trustees and voluntees were there on the day to man the sales of poastcards and books. Unlike the staff at Charleston, who had a haughty air of just about allowing the public in to see such hallowed ground of the Bloomsbury set - the men at the desk at the Fry were charming and slightly of the 1940's. Gentile, polite and friendly and clearly in love with the work on the walls. It was so lovely. I soaked it all up.

After staying for about an hour, we headed to the nearby park and maze, then a walk round the town to see the buildings, buy a drink and have a meander. Its a lovely little town Saffron Walden. We didnt see it all by any means. It has some beautiful architecture and reminds me heavily of a mini Salisbury - so I felt very much at home. Plonk a big cathedral in the middle and it would have been spookily so like home!

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