By Val Long
“There was a 12 year age gap between Dorothy and I, and Dorothy left home when I was six years old, but she was always influential in encouraging creativity in me and her younger brother. She still sent her washing home from time to time after she’d left and often within the washing there were little presents of some art materials for us – pencils, mosaic pieces and others bits that she thought we would like.
“This nurturing instinct never left Dorothy, and she encouraged and mentored young artists throughout her lifetime.
“Dorothy didn’t only paint during her career, but she also worked for a number of animation studios, including Halas & Bachelor, where she worked on Animal Farm. After I left school, she got me to apply for my first job at the animation company W M Larkins, which was part of the Film Producers Guild. I worked between the art department and the cameras, and I’d return the favour by getting Dorothy and her stony broke artist friends freelance work whenever it was available. We really looked out for each other, and when we worked together people were always impressed by how quickly we worked so Dorothy nicknamed us the ‘Speedy Meadys’.
“She was a very strong person, and Dorothy stood up for what she thought was right. If she disagreed with something she would tell you, not aggressively but explaining her point of view clearly.
“Her artistic awareness also spilled over into her clothing choices, and though she didn’t have much money she was very fashion conscious, and she knew what to wear and when to wear it.
“Dorothy’s artwork was very inspired by Bomberg. He was a huge influence on her early style. She played with the big boys when she was alive, but I wonder if she thought she might have been more commercially successful if she had been a man. She once said to me that she thought she would change her name to ‘George’, as people didn’t hold much score for women artists.
“I’m incredibly proud to see Dorothy’s work recognised in the solo show at Borough Road Gallery.”
Taken from a conversation between Dorothy Mead’s sister, Val Long, and Anna Cureton, London South Bank University.