7th March 2016

Ms Pauline Chakmakjian : The City of Kyoto and the Cult of Beauty

Truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, this is an overview into the most stunning monuments and sites found in Kyoto, the old capital of Japan. Kyoto not only has magnificent shrines, temples and gardens, but also is famous for its array of marvellous, colourful and seasonal festivals

11th April 2016

Mr Michael Turner: Sir Charles Nicholson: “Who Do You Think You Are”?

In 1834, 25 year-old Charles Nicholson arrived in Sydney to begin work as a doctor near the Rocks. Twenty-two years later, in 1856, the now Sir Charles Nicholson, explorer, politician, businessman, philanthropist, university founder and chancellor returned to England in triumph, feted by Queen Victoria and showered with honorary degrees. Not bad for a boy who, christened Isaac Ascough, had begun life as the illegitimate grandson of a farm labourer, high on the Yorkshire moors. The lecturer also looks at his own adventures in uncovering the extraordinary and colourful background of one of the great figures of Australian history.

16th May 2016

Lucia Gahlin: Nefertiti: images of Ancient Egypt’s most intriguing Queen

Nefertiti is arguably the most famous queen of pharaonic Egypt. Her bust displayed in Berlin is iconic. She was the Chief Royal Wife of the Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten (c1352-c1336 BC), and together they continue to fascinate. Intriguing changes appear in the art and religion of this period of Egypt’s history – peculiar representations of the royal family, and an attempt at monotheism in what was traditionally a polytheistic society. The female members of this royal family were exceptional. In this lecture I shall examine the various roles (including political and cultic) played by Nefertiti and the other royal women of the time, and how these were expressed in stunning artistic representation

6th June 2016

Dr Christopher Allan and Mr Peter Guy: Pomp and Circumstance: English Art Music of the early 20th Century

English music of the 20th Century is often noted for its grand melodic gestures, luscious harmonies and regal majesty, contrasted by its relatively introspective and typically understated nature.  Prominent local musicians, Christopher Allan and Peter Guy, explore some of the wealth of musical literature from the Edwardian and inter-war era, examining the impact of society, culture and historic events on English composers of Art Song and organ music, including Vaughan Williams, Roger Quilter, Gerald Finzi, George Butterworth, Herbert Howells and Percy Whitlock.

11th July 2016

Michael Howard: Murder, Mayhem, Mystery and Paint - the extraordinary story of Walter Sickert

Walter Sickert can be considered as the major English painter of the first part of the twentieth century. However, in recent years, this reputation has been overshadowed by the claim that he was responsible for the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. This lecture explores Sickert’s bravura painting style and his place in British Art – and along the way, examines the evidence that associates him with the terrible Whitechapel Murders of 1888.

15th August 2016

Prof. James Allan: Islam and the History of Persian Tile-work

The lecture explores the history of Persian tilework primarily through the monuments of the most beautiful of all Persian cities, Isfahan, though it will also make reference to buildings elsewhere in Iran. From simple monochrome, turquoise inlays, in the 12th century, tilework in Iran developed in both polychromality and decorative complexity, until, by the 17th century, enormous architectural surfaces were covered with brilliant ornament.  But then comes the surprise, for in the 19th century tiles are used for the first time to tell a story…!

12th September 2016

Stephen Richardson: Styles in Art, A Fascination with the Antique

This talk focuses on the two great movements of the late 18th and early 19th century – Neo Classicism and the Regency. Inspired by the discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the rebirth of classicism was to replace Rococo as the new fashion, but with an emphasis on taste and academic understanding. This was the dazzling age of innovators such as Robert Adam and Josiah Wedgwood. The talk also touches on rival movements such as the Gothic revival of Horace Walpole, before concluding with the Regency, itself informed by classicism, but a period characterised by its excesses, variety and exoticism. Illustrated with examples of historic buildings and museum objects, the talk sets period style in context, charting the evolution from one style to another and identifying key characteristics, influences and personalities

17th October 2016

Sarah Cove: Conservation and Restoration: A day in the life of a Picture Restorer.

This lecture discusses the nature of oil painting materials, from the Middle Ages to the present day, and common problems associated with the ageing and deterioration of, and damage to, easel paintings. These can be on canvas, panel, board or paper in a range of mediums: oil, acrylic, egg tempera, or mixed media. Problems can involve natural deterioration and neglect, accidental damage, vandalism and even war –the most surprising event being a large hole caused by a Turkish cannon ball going through a picture in the 18th century!! Modern ‘museum standard’ approaches to conservation and restoration will be illustrated with detailed slides ranging from early Italian religious paintings in egg tempera via rapid oil sketches on paper by John Constable to 20th century British paintings and modern abstract works. Hints and advice on the general care of paintings in homes is given in liberal doses throughout!

7th November 2016

Dr Karen Pearlman: Australian Film: Defining Moments in a National Cinema

The lecturer introduces some key moments in Australian Film History from the early 1900s to the present and looks at the questions of how this country’s film industry and aesthetics have been profoundly shaped by the impediments and opportunities of government legislation.   Enjoy the clips and images that reveal defining moments such as the 1911 banning of bushranger films, the early 60s legislation requiring ads shown on Australian TV to be made in Australia, and the tax laws and the government funds that brought us the lyrical and bittersweet Australian New Wave, the crass and entertaining genre films of the 70s and 80s, the sequin covered stories of the 90s and the astounding wave of indigenous filmmaking we are experiencing now.