Charlotte Mayer has been exhibiting at The Garden Gallery almost since it opened in 1994. During this time a growing number of visitors to the gallery have become ardent and loyal fans of her work, and every summer look forward to enjoying her sculptures, both in the garden and the indoor gallery. In 2006 the gallery hosted a special exhibition of Charlotte's work which offered an opportunity to appreciate her skill as an artist, the depth of her imagination and her exceptionally high standards of craftsmanship.
It was a great privilege to show for the first time in 2006 a sculpture which has particular personal significance for Charlotte. The Thornflower has its roots deep in her childhood and the death of her grandmother in Treblinka in 1942, but it has grown to reflect on not only the Nazi Holocaust but, as Charlotte says, "man's inhumanity to man at other times". The sculpture which has evolved represents what Charlotte describes as "an urgent wish to make a sculpture uniting opposing elements of thorns and flowers, and which would speak of reconciliation, peace and oneness". Charlotte's hope that The Thornflower would find a home within "an Interfaith, Peace and Reconciliation context" has been realised. Thanks to a generous donor a cast of the sculpture is now at St. Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in Bishopsgate in the City of London.
A pamphlet telling the full story of The Thornflower with details about commissioning arrangements is available on request.
Charlotte's family came from Prague, which she left as a child to go to England in 1939. At the age of 16 she went to Goldsmiths' College where she grasped the importance of form and structure from two particularly influential teachers, Ivor Roberts Jones and Harold Wilson Parker. She went on to the Royal College of Art where Frank Dobson urged her to "keep it simple". Her early sculpture was figurative and carved from stone. A visit to New York in 1967 led to the creation of several sculptures in welded steel, inspired by the scale and architecture of the buildings. In the 1970s a new interest in the natural world developed during family holidays on Dartmoor. First, a series of welded animals, then beautiful poised serene forms inspired by pods, leaves, shells and ammonites, with movement a significant characteristic of her work. Most of her work is cast in bronze by the Pangolin Editions Art Foundry in Gloucestershire, with which she has enjoyed a long association. Some of her work is fabricated in steel. In gardens, Charlotte's sculptures are in perfect harmony with trees, plants, water and the play of light.
Charlotte Mayer's work is represented in both corporate and institutional collections, and private collections in Europe, Japan and the USA. Public commissions include work for Banque Paribas in London, and in 2001 her large bronze sculpture, Pharus, was installed at Goodwood in Sussex by the Cass Sculpture Foundation.
"I believe that a sculpture should speak for itself. It should need no verbal description. A title may give a hint to the viewer of what was in the sculptor's mind".
Click on News in the main menu and scroll down to view a video about The Thornflower in Salisbury Cathedral in 2009.
Click on these links to view available work by Charlotte -