I have been offered the privilege of working in the hallowed surroundings of George Frederick Watts’s Great Studio, the first artist to do so since Watts’s death in 1904. Using this important space will provide a long awaited chance to explore my oeuvre on an even larger scale. My largest work to date is 9ft x 5ft; Watts’s Great Studio will give me the freedom to go even bigger, both in size and in intent.
Perdita Hunt, Director of Watts Gallery:
At a time when we are about to bring about a revival in the interest of George Frederic Watts by opening the restored Watts Gallery to the public and showing Watts’s paintings, sculptures and drawings refreshed by loving conservation, Trustees of Watts Gallery are delighted that Watts’s Great Studio, currently leased by Watts Gallery Trust, will be occupied by an artist of international stature, who shares the empathy and ambitions of Watts. The resurgence of Compton as a centre of innovation and creative energy is really taking place and we are honoured and delighted to collaborate with Alexander Creswell on his exciting journey of discovery; ‘Enabling Great Art in Watts’s Great Studio’.
In 2006 Creswell broke all bounds of his medium when he produced a collection of watercolours on a grand scale demonstrating an unrivalled technical skill. In painting these vast works (up to nine feet in length) Creswell was rebelling against the tradition of small scale watercolours. He pushed his medium to new heights of experimentation. When these works were exhibited in New York the results were described as “nothing short of extraordinary”.