Lectures are held in St. George’s Hall Blockley and start at 2.45 pm, refreshments are available after lectures

Australian art


Val Woodgate

Art down under – Australian art from the convict years to the modern era

Artistic responses to life in the strange new continent were initially seen through European, and especially British, artistic traditions. In the 19th century, Australian Impressionism & the Heidelberg School challenged the dominance of the ‘Victorian’ style, with Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and others producing works which became Australian icons. The First World War was a watershed in Australian and New Zealand history. No longer subservient to Europe, artists now found their own language to depict the unique landscape and culture Down Under. At the same time indigenous artists began to respond to contemporary life, while retaining many of the traditions of their ancestors.

Val Woodgate is a lecturer and guide in both Tate Britain and Tate Modern as well as at many other London galleries. She is a former member of the teaching team at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Val is also a lecturer at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester where she also runs courses.



Suzanne Perrin

The art of the kimono: Japanese signs, symbols and stories

Of all the fascinating arts and crafts made in Japan, perhaps the most exciting are those of textiles. We trace the art of the kimono from the many layered robes of court dress throughout the changing styles that encompassed intricate and bold designs that wove signs, symbols and stories into the fabrics that people wore during the Endo Period from the early 1600s to the mid-1900s.

From courtesans to theatre costumes, daily wear and special occasions, wearing kimono advertised one’s wealth, rank and status at every level of society. We explore the hidden codes of dress formality, the awareness of the seasons, the historical stories and layered patterns depicted in the colourful and complex materials used for kimono. Specialised craftsmen and women are still using traditional and modern methods to produce the complex patterns in Nishijin weaving, or Yuezen dyeing and many other ways of decorating the fine silk used for kimono.

Suzanne Perrin is a visiting lecturer at both the University of Brighton Art & Design School, and the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She teaches on the Asian Arts courses at the British Museum and the V&A. In 1995 Suzanne founded Japan Interlink to promote the understanding of Japan in educational and cultural circles and she studied Nihonga (traditional Japanese painting) at Nagoya University of Arts, Japan, 1986-87. She conducted guided tours of Japan for students and adult groups; gave lecture tours on Japanese Art & Culture in Australia in 1987 and 2000 for ADFAS.



Justine Hopkins

The world in a grain of sand – William Blake

The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

William Blake: poet, painter and philosopher; rebel, radical revolutionary. Called the man without a mask by his friends, Blake was less ahead of his time as outside it, creating his own mythology of embattled beings and strange prophecies to tell the truths he perceived as the heart of all existence. His paintings and poems are particular and specific to the life of eighteenth-century London as they are universal.

This lecture examines the worlds of William Blake in the context of his time and our own, exploring their extraordinary and vivid symbolism and revealing the celebration of life in all its richness that informs even the strangest of his works: a paradoxical way of seeing the world which challenged orthodoxy and continues to do so.

Justine Hopkins studied History of Art at the Courtauld Institute. She has lectured regularly for Tate Britain, Tate Modern, V&A, National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. Justine lectures at Oxbridge and Bristol Universities, Christie's Fine Art, The Art Fund and with us. Groups such as the Bradford on Avon Arts Association, Friends of Covent Garden and U3A have also benefited from her lectures.

The bird

MONDAY 18 MAY 2020

Antony Buxton

Iconic objects of art: the bird

The bird, moving between the terrestrial to aerial domains, occupies a symbolic place in ancient mythologies. The owl represented learning in Athens, the eagle and swan both feature as symbols of power in Roman art and the peacock finds a place in the mythologies of both East and West for its display of exotic beauty. Christian art adopted the peacock as a symbol of the resurrection and of the Church, and the classical myths associated with the peacock were reinterpreted by academic art of the seventeenth century. The peacock plays a part in the mythologies of the cultures of India and the Far East and became a symbol of the appreciation of ‘superfluous’ beauty by the Aesthetes of the nineteenth century.

Dr Antony Buxton lectures on the history of art, architecture and design, and material and domestic culture for the Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford and other British and American institutions of higher education. Prior to academic teaching he was for many years a furniture designer-maker and period furniture conservator, leading to an interest in the way in which material and aesthetic culture, social life and values interact.

Joshua Reynolds


Adam Busiakiewicz

Sir Joshua Reynolds – destroyer of pictures?

Eighteenth century Britain was an age of romanticised elegance captured politely in paint. In contrast, Sir Joshua Reynolds pushed the boundaries of composition and materials through endless experimentation. His constant attempts to replicate the painting techniques of the Old Masters resulted in some of the triumphs of Georgian British Art. Whilst much of his work survives, his experimentation with oils, waxes, pigments and other ingredients of painting alchemy, means that many are in poor condition and pose conservation conundrums. In addition to Reynolds’s development as a painter, this lecture will discuss the various scientific methods undertaken to revive, and in some cases resurrect, his valuable and important paintings.

Adam Busiakiewicz is an art historian, lutenist and lecturer. After completing his degree in history at UCL in 2010 he held the position of Head of Historical Interpretation (curator) at Warwick Castle. He left to pursue a Master’s Degree in Fine and Decorative Art at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in Art History at Warwick University.