Farley Farm

Went to Farley Farm in Sussex yesterday. It is a sort of shrine to the lives of two rather extraordinary people: Roland Penrose and Lee Miller. There are many Surrealist paintings by Penrose on the walls, some of them replacing his collection of works by great 20th C masters sold or moved after his death. These are interesting, especially the sequence of representations of his wives, Valentine and Lee.

Of particular interest to me, if not to any other visitor, is the fact that Peter Watson stayed at Farley Farm on a number of occasions. He knew Penrose well, from before the War. Penrose owned a Surrealist gallery called The London Gallery and he made Watson a director. It was no doubt his friendship with Penrose which led to him supporting the creation of the ICA in 1946/7.

A notable sculpture in the garden is by the great Northern Irish sculptor, FE McWilliam, whose studio at Banbridge is well worth a visit as well.