1st June 2020

Alan Read (NADFAS): Phrases and Sayings – the Etymology of the City of London

The English language is rich in idioms, phrases and sayings which are part of everyday speech yet seldom do we consider their original meanings. This is an exploration of historical etymology, often traceable to the City of London. Even if you have to ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ and it’s ‘raining cats and dogs’ you’d be ‘barking mad’ to miss this lecture.

29th June 2020

Kathleen Olive (Australia): The Life Cycle of the Artist in Renaissance Italy

Renaissance artists and artisans started very young. As their skills and reputations grew, they could become highly sought after and well remunerated. What qualities were required to reach the dizzying heights of innovation described Giorgio Vasari in his celebrated Lives? Kathleen explores the career of a Renaissance artist –- from the early stages of education, through to maturity – paying particular attention to artists’ writings and to their self-portraits.

27th July 2020

Kate Strasdin (NADFAS): Gilded Splendour – Couture embroidery

Tucked away in the attic workshops of Paris, a hidden trade has existed for the last 160 years with very little publicity.  Haute couture embroidery studios have produced stunning hand worked embellishment for high class dressmakers since the 1850s.  This lecture delves into the history of just some of these establishments, some British embroiderers, and how the art of embroidery still occupies an important place in the fashion industry  of today.

31st August 2020

Caroline Shenton (NADFAS): Packing up the Nation

The gripping and sometimes hilarious story of how a band of heroic curators and eccentric custodians saved Britain’s national heritage during its Darkest Hour. As Hitler’s forces gathered on the other side of the Channel, men and women from London’s national museums, galleries and archives forged extraordinary plans. These unlikely heroes packed up their great treasures and dispatched them throughout the country on a series of secret wartime adventures.

29th September 2020

Sandy Burnett (AUST): The Age of Jazz

Jazz is one of the twentieth century’s most important musical genres: a fascinating blend of rigorous structure, free-wheeling creativity, close-knit ensemble work and improvisation. Drawing on his experience as musicologist and gigging musician, Sandy sheds light on jazz from the inside, from early pre-impressions by Maurice Ravel and the very earliest jazz recordings through to classics by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and the dawn of the Swing Era.

2nd November 2020

Kathy McLauchlan (NADFAS): Urban Noir: Edward Hopper's Nighthawks

Hopper’s paintings display loneliness and alienation in urban life.  In Nighthawks, 1942, we are given very few clues. Do these people know each other? It is the inexplicable quality of this scene which has made it so intriguing to generations of viewers, and has turned Nighthawks into one of the iconic images of 20th century urban life.  What is the background to Hopper’s masterpiece and why is it so lastingly fascinating?

24th February 2020

Prof. John Fischetti (Newcastle Lecture): The Future of Teaching and Learning

Do students still go to school to watch their teachers work? In the ‘new school’ era we are heading towards, schools will be learning centres, with student engagement and personalised approaches focusing on individual needs. Emerging technologies will bring new ways of exploring and mastering ideas and knowledge. How can schools create the learning environments that empower every child for success and embrace the culture and expectations of the community?

23rd March 2020

Catherine Wallace (NADFAS): A Tale of Two Barbaras: Barbara Hepworth and Barbara Tribe

These two sculptors made Cornwall their home for much of their lives and worked and taught there. Dame Barbara Hepworth (1903 – 1975) was a leader in the modernist movement in British art. Australian Barbara Tribe (1913 – 2000) studied with Raynor Hoff (ANZAC Memorial, Sydney), and later travelled to England. Notable are her 1943 portrait busts of Australian airmen. What drove the similarities and differences in the work of these two pioneering female artists of the 20th century?

20th April 2020

Julie Ewington (Australia): Four Women: Artists at the Venice Biennale

Simryn Gill (2013), Fiona Hall (2015), Tracey Moffit (2017) and Angelica Mesiti (2019) have been shown in the Australian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. As well as tracing their sophisticated practices, we ask what is the significance and the outcome of this hotly-contested opportunity in Venice? What does it means to ‘represent’ one’s country in an art exhibition? And why is it that the recently selected artists are women?