Lectures will be held on-line at 2.30pm for a 2.45pm start. The Zoom link for each lecture will be emailed to all members a few days before the lecture.
MONDAY 18 JANUARY 2021
Artemisia Gentileschi is one of the most celebrated female painters in the history of art. A follower of Caravaggio, Artemisia rose to become one of the most sought after painters of her day. She was the first female member of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence. She also enjoyed fame in Rome, Venice, Naples and London where she worked alongside her father for King Charles I. Despite a series of tragic events in her youth and the constant challenge of working within what was still very much a male-dominated environment, Artemisia overcame personal difficulty to produce some of the most sublime and moving images of the early 17th century. Her extraordinary life and work was chosen by the National Gallery as the subject of one of 2020’s most important exhibitions.
Siân lectures both at the National Gallery and The Wallace Collection and has taught at Surrey University, specialising in 15th and 16th century Italian painting, Spanish art & architecture, and the relationship between dance and art. She also teaches private courses and organises lectures, study days and art holidays abroad. Siân has also lived in France and Italy, where she worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice.
MONDAY 15 FEBRUARY 2021
Pop Art on both sides of the Atlantic
Pop Art arose simultaneously in the UK and USA. Perhaps Andy Warhol was right when he said everyone was reading the same comics. While British Pop Art was heavily influenced by the consumer boom and the films and music of the USA, it had its own identity, which was often ironic and self-reflective.
Leading British practitioners in the 1950s and early 1960s were Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton and Peter Blake. American Pop Art had the superstars including Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, who simply used the formats of advertising, mass production, magazines and comics, to play back to the public what the public was already eating, watching or thinking.
This lecture will use a wide collection of Pop Art paintings to explain the differences between British and American Pop Art, and why some British artists, after trying it, distanced themselves from it. This lecture will be jargon-free with audience engagement, backed by high quality slides.
Raymond studied art history at the Open University and the University of Buckingham. He is a Guide at Tate Britain and Tate Modern, leading public tours of all the permanent displays and Raymond also undertakes exhibition tours. Raymond is an experienced public speaker who has given presentations and lectures on a range of themes to diverse audiences over many years.
MONDAY 15 MARCH 2021
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.
MONDAY 19 APRIL 2021
Art behind bars: the role of the arts in breaking the cycle of crime, prison and re-offending
Years of working as an artist within the Criminal Justice System in England and Germany have given Angela unique insights into the destructive and costly cycle of crime, prisons and re-offending. In this thought-provoking talk she offers a deeper understanding of the minds, lives and challenges of offenders. With slides of art projects and prisoner’s art, she demonstrates how within the process of creating art of any discipline, there are vital opportunities for offenders to confront their crimes and develop the key life skills so essential in leading a positive and productive life. A frequent response to this talk has been ‘I had no idea!’ and indeed it casts light onto areas of our society where the arts not only are visual, decorative or commercial, but absolutely vital, hugely relevant and potentially life changing.
This talk is moving, informative and very original. Interspersed with personal accounts of humorous or slightly horrifying situations, these talks have kept audiences across the country engrossed.
Angela Findlay is a professional artist, writer and freelance lecturer with a long career of teaching art in prisons in Germany and England. Her time ‘behind bars’ and later as Arts Coordinator of the London-based Koestler Trust, gave her many insights into the huge impact the arts can have in terms of rehabilitation. Her ideas were novel but effective and in 2016 she was invited to the Ministry of Justice to present the case for the arts to be included in their new rehabilitation and education policies. Angela has a BA(Hons) in Fine Art, a Diploma in Artistic Therapy (specialising in colour) and her paintings are widely exhibited both nationally and internationally.
MONDAY 17 MAY 2021
Double Dutch: the secret language of Dutch still life
Merchants of the Dutch Golden Age filled their town houses with paintings. But these upright Calvinist citizens rejected biblical subjects and Baroque melodrama. Favourite themes were found closer to home. Still lifes reflect the prosperity and self-esteem of the new Republic. The detailed realism of these paintings is compelling but is there more to Dutch art than meets the eye?
Banketje (banquets) and ontbijtjes (breakfasts) celebrate an abundance of foodstuffs. Could the curl of lemon peel, platter of oysters, kraakware bowl of blemished fruit or spiced meat pie warn of the dangers of gluttony and pleasures of the flesh?
Vanitas, ‘pronkstilleven’ and ‘blompots’ display treasured possessions. If we look closely, however, the pocket-watch, fading bloom or, more explicitly, human skull, might hint that consciences are troubled by such ostentation.
Join us to explore the secret symbolic language of still life paintings and become a fluent reader of ‘Double Dutch’!
Now working as a freelance lecturer in the History of Art, Lynne originally trained as a fine artist and has taught painting, drawing and printmaking in higher and adult education. She lectured as an art historian for the universities of Sussex and Bristol where she introduced ‘Understanding Art’ to the Lifelong Learning programme and residential summer schools. She also gives talks, lectures and guided tours to a wide range of organisations and institutions including ARCA colleges, The National Trust, National Gallery, art museums and art societies. Lynne has worked as a professional artist specializing in oil painting and etching. Solo and group shows have included the RWA, British Museum and the Barbican.
MONDAY 21 JUNE 2021
The competitive sport of fresco: Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel
In 1508, Pope Julius II, known because of his military expeditions as the ‘Warrior Pope’, commissioned Michelangelo to fresco the vault of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo had very limited experience of the physically and technically difficult technique of fresco, much less on the underside of a 12,000-square-foot surface. His reputation had been made in sculpture with works such as the Pietà and the monumental David, rather than in paint. This illustrated lecture examines the circumstances surrounding Michelangelo’s commission and how, in the four years between 1508 and 1512, he worked on his immense fresco in direct competition with Raphael, his younger and prodigiously talented contemporary, who was working on his own frescoes a few steps away in the Papal Apartments.
Ross King is the author of eight books on Italian, French and Canadian art and history. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and he has won both the Governor General’s Award in Canada and the BookSense Non-Fiction Book of the Year in the United States. Born and raised in Canada, he has lived in England since 1992. Ross has lectured widely in both North America and Europe and given lectures and guided tours in Florence, Rome, Milan, Paris and Giverny.