14th October – David Wright – 11.00 a.m.
11th November – Barry Venning – 4.00 p.m.
9th December – Brian Healey – 4.00 p.m.
The cartoonist, Carl Giles, once said that he loved his creation, Grandma Giles – that fearsome, black-clad, gambling, drinking battleaxe – because she allowed him to say things through his cartoons that he was too polite to say in person. She helped him to poke fun at authority in all its forms, from Hitler to traffic wardens and even his employers at the Daily Express, who didn’t trust him and had sub-editors scouring his cartoons for subversive background details. His admirers included Prince Charles, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Tommy Cooper, and it was no surprise when he was voted Britain’s best-loved cartoonist in 2000. Few people realise, however, that this likeable and humane satirist was also a war correspondent who witnessed the horrors of Belsen, where he found that the camp commandant, Josef Kramer, was also a great fan of his work. Giles gave us a remarkable picture of a half-century of British life. He was also, as his editor John Gordon put it “a spreader of happiness’ and ‘a genius…with the common touch’.
Why is it that so many icons appear so similar, so dark, so primitive even? It takes a trained eye to reveal the fascinating language of icons, the symbolism of colour and line, the meaning of reverse perspective, elongated fingers and faces and desexualised features. Combine this with an understanding of the process of creating or ‘writing’ an icon and the many variations of a particular theme, and suddenly it all makes sense. Through a close look at their construction, common themes and characteristics of Russian icons in particular, this lecture will help de-mysticise these intriguing artworks and help explain why they are so central to Orthodox belief.
It seems that many peoples over many centuries have wanted to live in and claim England as their own. Why? For some incoming settlers, England can’t have been the most obvious choice as richer pickings might have been had by heading southwards or eastwards. Here we will see not only who came, but also why. We will look at the many great attractions of England, not just the varied and rich pastures and natural wealth beyond belief today, but also – perhaps surprisingly – unparalleled education, justice and hierarchy: it was a good place to settle upon your heirs.
The extraordinary story of the rebuilding of the Cathedral as a symbol of peace and reconciliation and its inspiring commitment to the modern. Experience the work of many of the world – class artists associated with its treasures including Epstein, Frink, Piper and Sutherland.
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 me to explore the secret symbolic language of Still Life paintings and become a fluent reader of ‘Double Dutch’!
A fully illustrated talk with in excess of 60 images exploring the relationship between the making of an image and the way in which it is perceived by the viewer. Further discussion around the eye and the brain being an extraordinary double act made up of visual references and intellectual interpretation.
From the Edwardian era to the outbreak of World War II millions of artist drawn humorous postcards were produced not only just for entertainment but also to bolster morale, to inspire, instruct, motivate and persuade. Discover the popular themes and styles of the period by the masters of the medium such as Mabel Lucie Attwell, Dudley Buxton, Donald McGill and Fred Spurgin, and the reasons why their popularity waned with the British public.
George Romney’s obsession with Emma Hamilton launched her as a celebrity of the age. Thomas Lawrence’s portraits of Sarah Siddons catapulted her from talented actress to society darling. While the Duchess of Devonshire’s notoriety was transformed into fame and fashionability by Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds.
This lecture traces the collision in the 18C between portraiture and the arrival of celebrity culture. A vibrant press and a scandal-mongering coffee-house culture joined forces with rising consumerism and a greater sense of self-identity. The result was a passion for portraiture, which worked hand in hand with celebrity, or notoriety, to propel particular personalities and particular paintings to a new level of pre-eminence. The passion for portraits and the obsession with personality in this vibrant age produced some of Britain’s best painting and most iconic images.
From the Alhambra to William Morris, patterns can be gorgeous, yet pattern has often been dismissed as “mere ornament” in comparison with painting. We will discover what a mistaken view that is as we look at the ideas that inspired some of the great pattern inventors and traditions from around the world. We’ll see that whilst some glorious effects depend on very simple patterning procedures, others can be wonderfully clever, as we watch patterns evolving across the screen in beautiful animations.
Charles John Huffam Dickens brought into the world a staggering array of wonderful characters with orphans, starving children, misers, murderers and abusive school teachers among them. People such as Mr Micawber, Fagin and Abel Magwitch remain in one’s literary psyche long after the books are put down. Largely self-educated, Dickens possessed the genius to become the greatest writer of his age with 15 major novels and countless short stories and articles. In his lecture Bertie Pearce looks at the life and places of Dickens through his characters. The talk is interspersed with readings of this works. A truly Dickensian experience
Angels, familiar and fantastic, playing major and minor roles, can be seen in centuries of paintings, engravings, illustrations and sculptures. Archangel Gabriel and the Annunciation or Archangel Michael fighting the good fight. Angelic references also abound in Islamic and Jewish traditions, the latter beautifully evoked in Chagall’s Bible Message. Time to contrast the beauty and light of cherubim and seraphim with the dark, fiery abyss of Satan and contemplate the Angel of the North.
Preston New Road
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