Exhibition opening on Friday 30 June 6-8pm

Letters from Meduseld is a celebration of hospitality and gathering. 25 frescoes play out real and imagined stories of exchanges, ingredients and possibilities from a metaphorical meduseld (OE mead-hall).

The meduseld could be somewhere legendary and fabled, otherworldly, or universal. Here, in dining and feasting, the raw material of food and drink is elevated into something transcendent and powerful by the act of convening and sharing it. The word has the dreamlike intangibility of memory but, as a place, its fundamentals – shelter, communality and victuals – are very human; real and necessary regardless of time. It also holds undertones of sweetness and joy, with medu (mead) referring to the fermented honey drink.

With a nod to the centrality of the early Germanic hall as an anchoring and unifying place to receive guests and host celebrations, these frescoes explore something joyful and timeless. The plaster is laid on and stripped back repeatedly leaving very little depth of material. What appears is an illusory layered tapestry that exists within a few millimetres; there and not there, a memory and a presence, an invitation to read and enjoy the seen and unseen.

In process, the frescoes are grounded in the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. They are painted in wet lime and marble plaster with the friction of spatulas and trowels and blades, and dried by the air. They are rooted in materiality and physicality and yet reaching beyond this to create a central space both internally and externally which nourishes, comforts, and connects.

Beowulfs shining Heorot hall stands as a symbol for all good things; Babettes Feast enacts an intimate drama of culinary metamorphosis and bringing people together; The Bloomsbury Cookbook documents the commingling of family, friendships, homes, food and art – everywhere there are many dishes to be savoured and inspiring stories to be told. These frescoes are a space to explore some of them.

Letters from Meduseld is presented in the setting of the Chapel. It is a place of gratitude, nourishment and congregation in its original ecclesiastical purpose but also today in the conversations and workshops it hosts and the food it serves. Sharing food at table is a simple act but also a privilege. With this is mind, Aster Muro is donating a percentage of their exhibition sales to The Trussell Trust and Magic Breakfast, two charities working in the UK to provide food to those in need.

Charles and Lianne Snell trained at Chelsea College of Arts and the University of Oxford respectively. As Aster Muro, they have realised the largest contemporary fresco in the UK MediaCityUK and created numerous large and smaller scale fresco paintings for residential, commercial and hospitality projects across the UK and Europe. Their frescoes have been featured in Design Week, Country Life and Times Property. This is their second exhibition at the Chapel.


All work is available to buy through Collectorplan from the Arts Council of Wales. This is an interest free credit scheme for the purchase of original, contemporary artwork.