In 1964 Terence Conran opened the first Habitat shop in London’s Chelsea. Habitat’s clarion call to colour and contemporary design saw off the lingering shades of post war austerity and revolutionized British Retailing. From the beginning Conran spread the word of this new lifestyle look though twice yearly Habitat catalogues: copies are now collected and traded by a new generation of interior decorators and designers. In the early 70’s, then a design journalist, I worked for Terence Conran copy writing and editing the Habitat Catalogue. Crazy, demanding and inspiring times, full of tension and humour, working with some of the best designers, art directors and photographers in the UK. This is a rare insider’s view of how Terence Conran’s vision and determination changed the way we lived then, and the way we live now.
Picasso told his biographer, John Richardson, that his work was like a diary – “To understand it, you have to see how it mirrors my life”. This lecture examines the way Picasso’s emotional life influenced what he painted and how he painted it. His response to each new love in his life can be seen in the different styles in which his many women were represented. When he fell out of love, that fact would be revealed first in his paintings. The lecture concentrates on the seven most important women in his life (two of whom he married).
Experience the story of gold and its significance and symbolism within the history of art – as the colour of the sun; the colour of divinity; the colour of status and the colour of love. From creations ancient and contemporary, sacred and profane – all that glitters is certainly gold…
Accomplished botanical painter and inveterate traveller, Marianne North (1830-1890) led an unconventional life capturing the life essence of exotic and rare plants in their native lands. Born in Hastings, her pursuit of plants took her round the world. This talk explores both the life and social context of Marianne North, including discussion of why her paintings troubled deeply conservative Victorian society and the eventual creation of her gallery at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
Preston New Road
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