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.
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.
Before settling at Wrotham in Kent, Mahoney’s landscape subjects were taken from the parts of southern England
where he spent his holidays: the Cotswolds, Wiltshire and Suffolk. He also produced occasional paintings when
visiting Edward Bawden and John Aldridge in Great Bardfield, Essex. After settling at Oak Cottage, excursions by
Mahoney were rare although he did produce paintings whilst at Pevensey in Sussex (1958), Veryan in Cornwall
(1959) and Puncknowle in Dorset (circa 1962), the latter two supported by the Artists’ General Benevolent