Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.58.
During his years as a student Mahoney lodged at a succession of addresses ‚Äì an inconvenience that his recurrent ill health coupled with financial hardship and unscrupulous landlords did little to relieve. It was against this background that Oak Cottage, his home from 1937, came to represent such permanence in his life and art. The cottage was too small for a studio, so weather allowing, Mahoney worked from a shed in the garden, or inside the cottage when it was too cold.
Acquired in 1937, Oak Cottage, in Wrotham, Kent, was very much Mahoney’s spiritual as well as actual home. It was also a home for his mother, Bessie, after she left Anerley in 1937. Charles lived at Oak Cottage from 1937-40, during which period he renovated it, and again from 1945 until his death in 1968. Once the garden that he planted had matured, he seldom worked anywhere else. For Mahoney, Oak Cottage had something of the quality with which Stanley Spencer imbued his childhood home, Fernlea; in both cases the frequent pictorial references to elements of the architecture and garden gives the location an almost mystical quality.
Photo credit; with thanks to Fred Hohler.