The Arts Society
Chichester Evening

Lectures

We believe that the arts have the potential to enrich people's lives...we look forward to welcoming you to the lectures below:

We believe that the arts have the potential to enrich people's lives...we look forward to welcoming you to our lectures. As you will be well aware, current restrictions have prevented most of this year's lectures but we have managed to rescue the lecture below and hope you can make it.

A new lecture programme is coming soon...

Date Title Speaker Synopsis
2021
21 Jan Food & Art Through The Ages; from Renaissance Sugar Sculpture to 3D Painting Tasha Marks This is a whistle-stop tour of the history of food starting with 16th century sugar sculpture to 3D dessert printing and beyond. Hosted by Food Historian, Tasha Marks, this lecture is a treat for those with a sweet tooth, as Marks feels the subject of food and art through the ages is most exciting in the realms of the dessert. Topics include the origins of the dessert, the crossover between sugar and art, architecture and the dessert, sugar and spectacle, food as an artistic medium and the future of food.
18 Feb Post-war Australian Painting Paul Chapman Essential to the understanding of Australian modern art, we look at the naive and expressive stylists of the ‘Heide School’, Sidney Nolan and Arthur Boyd, while John Brack’s figurative paintings give a post-war social critique of Australian culture. John Olsen’s abstract expressions of landscape and Brett Whitley’s personal vision of his life in Sydney are also essential to the understanding of Western modern art from ‘down under’.
4 Mar The Inns of Court and Legal London Emma Matthews Emma Matthews, a former barrister, who worked in the Inner Temple and Royal Courts of Justice, will uncover the secrets of crusaders and campaigners in a hidden part of London amongst cobbled streets, gas lights and ancient buildings and will explain the theatre of the court rooms where barristers and judges still wear their horsehair wigs and silk gowns.
18 Mar Taken by surprise; a Revolution in the Art of the Poster Charles Harris The year is 1901. Toulouse-Lautrec has just died. An orange zebra sips Campari, a tiger tears at a tyre, a clown leaps out of a lemon and a woman on horseback heralds a new era of chocolate. Advertising posters have never been the same. Wit-lashed with their imagery, tongue-fooled by their visions, we ask, ‘Who were the first Mad Men?’. The word ‘nice’ was not in their vocabulary; that just meant ‘mediocrity’...
15 Apr James Whistler; the gentle art of making enemies Douglas Skeggs James Whistler, the self assured, affected and irreverent artist with a razor sharp wit influenced the art world and the broader culture of his time with his artistic theories and his friendships with leading artists and writers, including Oscar Wilde.
20 May Is Less More? Rothko & the New York Colour Revolution Kate Aspinall A master of Abstract Expressionist painting, Mark Rothko sought to make paintings that would bring people to tears. Like his fellow New York School painters Barnett Newman and Clyfford Still, Rothko relied on colour, texture and composition to define a new and daring type of abstraction that propelled New York to take the lead from Paris, Vienna and Berlin after World War II.
17 Jun Frida Kahlo; A Life in Art Fiona Rose This Mexican artist was queen of the selfies long before Kim Kardashian. Her work is often graphic and unflinching with subjects including murder, suicide, marital infidelity, miscarriage, revolution and living with a disability and imminent death.
In conjunction with Chichester Festival
15 Jul Charleston, Sussex; Keeping House for Bloomsbury Tessa Boase Grace Higgens joined the unconventional Bell household aged just 15 – and, for the next fifty years, propped up the ‘Bloomsbury Set’ in London and at Charleston. Vanessa Bell couldn’t live without her housekeeper’s cooking – or her regular posing as an artist's model. Virginia Woolf tried to poach her for her baking. Grace’s candid diaries paint a picture of bohemia rather different to the official narrative. Tessa Boase, author of ‘The Housekeeper’s Tale’, takes us behind the scenes of this most unusual farmhouse.
15 Sep The Art of the Cartoonist Harry Venning

Harry Venning has been a professional cartoonist for over thirty years, during which time he has provided cartoons for several high profile UK publications, including The Guardian and Radio Times and was awarded UK Strip Cartoonist Of The Year for his Guardian strip ‘Clare In The Community’, which he adapted into a Radio 4 sitcom.

In The Art Of The Cartoonist, Harry will be tracing the history of his profession through the work of artists who have made an impact upon language, culture, history, and most importantly, upon him, including James Gillray, Charles Schulz, Herje, Posy Simmonds and Ronald Searle.

Harry will also be drawing live, so prepare to hear some tricks of the trade, learn where to put eyebrows for maximum effect, what a ‘plewd’ is and when you should use it and discover exactly what the Eskimo brothers said in The Funniest Joke Ever (possibly)...

13 Oct When Horses Ran London Charlie Forman Take a trip into a horse-drawn city just as a revolution was motoring in. Without its horses, London in 1900 would have ground to a halt; no buses, no deliveries, no goods trains. Alongside London’s growing dependence on technology was a vast increase in the demand for horses. This eye opener to a lost city mixes what's still there - the mews, horse hospitals, cab shelters and drinking troughs with what’s less apparent - like the horsepower each bus route needed, and why flogging a dead horse wasn’t just a turn of phrase . In fact, in 1900, the end was nigh – as the internal combustion engine fired up and the Great War loomed. Buildings survive which show this abrupt transition; from the factory that built the buses to the Edwardian multi-storey carpark housing the first big taxi.
17 Nov The Enigma of Edward Elgar Roger Askew

One of our greatest composers, Edward Elgar was an extraordinary man. He was a completely self-taught musician showing evidence of the strong determination behind his original and unique genius.

His path to recognition was hard and bitter, having to contend with the prejudices of the British musical establishment, religious bigotry and with the entrenched class-consciousness of late Victorian provincial society. His wife, however, was his staunchest supporter, finally achieved national and international success with his “Variations on an original theme (Enigma)” of 1899. This work demonstrates remarkable technical mastery of form and orchestration and, above all, an individual and forceful personality.

This lecture, illustrated with many notable musical examples, explores the development of this contradictory musician, always wracked with self-doubt, and explains how his music expresses a quintessential Englishness.

2022
19 Jan The Dust Bowl Through the Lens of a Photographer Roger Mendham

The mid-1930s were desperate times in the US Midwest. The effects of the Depression were exacerbated by the Dust Bowl years with mass migration of over 3 million people from farming regions, many became migrant workers in California.

This talk looks at the conditions that contributed to Dust Bowl, the implications for the communities involved and human consequences, as captured by a number of photographers working for the US Government and includes the story behind one of the most famous images of the 20th century, ‘Migrant Mother’ by Dorothea Lange.

16 Feb Joseph Wright of Derby Scott Anderson

The widespread developments in art, industry, science, technology and social behaviour in the 18th century laid the foundations of the modern Britain that we know today. This was the age of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, events that were to change and mould British life for the next two hundred years. This was also the age of Joseph Wright of Derby who painted the very spirit of the Industrial Revolution and whose paintings are still familiar to his many admirers to this day.

This lavishly illustrated talk considers his exceptional paintings of both industrial scenes and the many associated characters, such as industrialist Sir Richard Arkwright and Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of naturalist Charles Darwin, who were his subjects and friends.

16 Mar The Story of Modern Indian Art Georgina Bexon

At the birth of Indian Independence in 1947, a group of talented and determined artists set out to create a new art for a new country. They drew on ancient artistic traditions and the influences of Euro-American Modernism but, most importantly, they also embraced a radical view of how Indian art could speak to its audience.

This movement, known as the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group, created art very much for and of its time – acting as witness to a country in turmoil and relating the fascinating story of transition and growth of the new India. This is an exploration of how art in the subcontinent threw off the yoke of colonial influence to create modern masterpieces and a thriving global business.

13 Apr The Art of the Steal: Nazi Looting during World War II Shauna Isaac The Nazis looted over twenty percent of Western Art during World War II, confiscating art from Jewish families and emptying museums throughout Europe. This lecture will provide an overview of Nazi looting by setting the scene in Nazi Germany, discussing Hitler’s obsession with art and how the Monuments Men recovered art after the war. Several landmark cases will be discussed in detail, such as Gustav Klimt’s celebrated Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer and the stash of over 1,200 artworks found in possession of the son of a notorious Nazi dealer.
18 May The Dark Side of the Boom: The Mass Faking of the Russian Avant Garde James Butterwick

The Russian Avant Garde movement contained some of the greatest names of its generation. Malevich, Chagall, Kandinsky, Exter, Popova, Rozanova, Rodchenko, Tatlin and countless others blazed a trail through Art History for an all-too brief period. With their creativity stunted by the advent of Socialist Realism in 1932, their work disappeared - only to re-emerge in the early 1970s when Greek collector, George Costakis, began to buy up swathes of paintings of the period. With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a flood of newly discovered works appeared on the Western and domestic markets of which the vast majority, up to 95%, had neither verifiable provenance nor exhibition history, their authenticity supported only by documents from now discredited Russian and Western art historians and erroneous certificates of chemical expertise.

This scandal reached a crescendo in January 2018 with an exhibition of 24 dubious works of the period at the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts in Belgium. James Butterwick examines the background behind the mass faking of the Russian Avant Garde, the history of these dubious paintings, universally rejected by museums and the art market, as well as the methods used to ‘create’ authenticity.

15 Jun Art After Windrush: Post-Colonial Artists in Britain Barry Venning This lecture looks at the contributions made by artists of African, Caribbean or Asian origin to British art since the SS Empire Windrush arrived in Tilbury from the West Indies in 1948. It considers, among others, the work of Sir Frank Bowling, Francis Newton Souza, Eddie Chambers, Yinka Shonibare, Sonia Boyce, Rasheed Araeen, Lubaina Himid and the Singh Twins, all of whom have achieved international recognition and respect, their works collected by museums world-wide. They may not all be household names but their art is eye-catching and thought-provoking, and they have set much of the agenda for British art of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
20 Jul The Stirling Prize: The British Architecture’s Oscars Brian Stater The Stirling Prize has celebrated the very best contemporary buildings since 1996, often celebrating the artistry of British architects, who are admired around the world. Some winners, such as Norman Foster’s Gherkin of 2004, have become popular with the public while other have proved harder to love. This lecture looks at some of the hits, some of the misses, and several buildings that arguably should have won, but didn’t.
Previous Lectures