Adventure, by Mary Spencer Watson

Fairlands JMI School, Primrose Hill Road

By Pauline Maryan

Adventure, by Mary Spencer Watson
Pauline Maryan

Mary Spencer Watson (1913 – 2006) was born in London to artistic parents, her father George being a painter and her mother Hilda a dancer and mime artist who was strongly influenced by Edward Gordon Craig.


At the Slade, Royal Academy and Central Schools, she studied under John Skeaping and Alfred Turner, and in Paris under Ossip Zadkine, before her first solo exhibition at the age of 24.  After the war she received important commissions from some of the best architects involved in postwar reconstruction in Longbridge, Harlow New Town, and Stevenage. Her subsequent work included sculpture in Guildford and Wells Cathedrals.


She used a variety of materials to carve animals, plants and figures, but her favourite was Purbeck stone from the quarries near her Dorset home.  She was still carving into her nineties.


Adventure was carved in red sandstone on site in 1951.


It is some time since I took this picture, – have I pinpointed the correct site?


This page was added on 09/03/2011.

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  • The catalogued title of the work is ‘Young Unicorn’ although it has been informally known as ‘Adventure’ within the school community.

    It was carved in pink Ketton Stone.

    By Robert Staples (11/07/2017)