Film legend’s widow hosts Childwickbury Arts Fair: with gallery

Christiane Kubrick with some of her paintings

Christiane Kubrick with some of her paintings - Credit: Archant

CHRISTIANE Kubrick, widow of legendary film director Stanley Kubrick, was the star of the show at the weekend, when 4,000 people flocked to Childwickbury Arts Fair in St Albans.

The German-born painter, who moved to England in the late sixties, chatted with visitors to her estate, where she moved to with Stanley in 1978.

She launched the first Childwickbury Arts Fair in 2003, when it was an instant success. And this year the three-day event, which started last Friday, celebrated its 10th anniversary by showcasing more than 60 artists, along with live music and educational activities for youngsters.

Seated in front of two huge paintings depicting her beloved grandmother Helene de Freitas, the charismatic Christiane paused between brushstrokes to chat with visitors or pose for photos.

She told the Herts Advertiser: “We have exhibitions here every year and I love doing this.”

Christiane explained she preferred such events to exhibiting in a gallery, as she enjoyed the freedom to continue painting and “have something to do” rather than standing in a room.

She said she was busy painting “the ghosts of my family”.

Most Read

While adding the finishing touches to one of her pictures, Christiane explained she was featuring her “amazing grandmother,” one of the first woman photographers.

She said: “I’m telling her story in these paintings.”

Christiane said her grandmother was a loving and exuberant woman who escaped a firestorm in Hamburg in 1943 wearing just a nightgown, and had experienced immense wealth and poverty during her life.

The artist said that it was only now, aged in her 80s, that she realised she had been trying to emulate her grandmother whom she “worshipped”.

The combination of warm weather and blue skies drew a larger than normal crowd to the historic estate’s Victorian brick stables, with people enjoying live entertainment and the chance to meet those displaying their craft.

Ice cream van Ginger’s Comfort Emporium had to order additional supplies from its Manchester base, after lengthy queues quickly depleted stock.

Harpenden potter Jenny Jackson, who runs Jenny Jackson Ceramics, was displaying for the first time at Childwickbury.

About 20 years ago she started pottery as a hobby but that interest has grown to such an extent that Jenny can now turn up to 10 kilos of clay into a range of objects a week.

Also displaying was Annette Inwood, a stone carver from Norfolk who said sculpting was a “dying art” in Britain.

She explained: “I’m one of a small minority as they don’t teach it at university or arts colleges any more.

“It’s a dirty, physical job. A lot of carvers use power tools but I don’t live on the grid, so I have to do everything from scratch with hand tools.”

Another sculptor, Gerard Bellaiche, was visiting from France, where he turns scrap metal into objects of art.

Among his creations was a bunch of “poppies,” the stems of which were constructed from discarded French swords used in the sport of fencing while the petals came from metal used to support grapevines in vineyards.