The Bellringer's Chamber, SS. Peter and Paul Church, Clare

The Bellringer's Chamber, SS. Peter and Paul Church, Clare

Kenneth Rowntree's crisp, colourful style, bordering on Magical Realism, is very much in evidence in this watercolour of the bellringer's chamber in Clare church. The church dates from the Norman Conquest and the beauty of its fifteenth-century nave and chancel are well known, but here Rowntree concentrates on the text of a notice board detailing early church donors. Rowntree often emphasised the written word in his pictures of churches and chapels; perhaps, as a Quaker unable to bear witness or testify, these texts held special import for him as 'found objects'. Indeed, in later years he acknowledged that 'words are what my work is really all about'.