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2017-18 season's lectures

October 17
Libby Horner
May 16
Jacqueline Cockburn
* morning lecture in the Museo de Nerja
Unless otherwise stated, all lectures are in the Cultural Centre, calle Granada, Nerja and start at 6pm.
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Lecture date: October 17th 2017

Mille Miglia - Cars and Culture

Libby Horner

In 1955 Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson won the 1000 mile open-road endurance race round ltaly with a staggering average speed of 98.53 mph which didn't allow them any time for pit stops or culture.

In 2014 Libby, driving an iconic red Alfa Romeo, followed the route in more leisurely fashion. In a multi-media lecture combining photographs, film, songs, and quotations from writers and poets she offers a Kaleidoscopic view of the cars and characters involved in the race from its inception in 1927 together with numerous detours to sample local food, wine, music, architecture and art.


San Gim

Siena

MilleMiglia1932
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Lecture date: November 14th 2017

Persistent Memory: The Art of Salvador Dalí

Angela Smith

Dalí's Father
"This lecture is essentially an overview of the life and work of Salvador Dalí.
I begin by considering the painter's early life and influences and the variety of styles he tried before developing and settling on his own idiosyncratic style. Dalí came late to Surrealism and was ousted by its controlling leader Andre Breton before too many years had passed. Nevertheless Dalí is often regarded as the archetypal Surrealist. I discuss this notion but also explain Dalí's personal response to Surrealism, in particular the approach he called his 'paranoiac critical activity', one which spawned works such as The Persistence of Memory and Metamorphosis of Narcissus."



About Angela Smith

From Angela's website:

I gained a first in Art History at Leicester University in the early 1980s. After a year working with adults with special needs, I studied for a PhD at the Warburg Institute in London under the supervision of the late J.B. Trapp. My subject was the life and building activity of Richard Fox, an Early-Tudor bishop of Winchester and founder of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. After completing my PhD, I took a break from academe, to concentrate on raising my children. Though I continued to research in spare moments and also took the opportunity to give talks in schools on historical subjects.

Before moving to Somerset, I spent more than a decade teaching mature learners in Lifelong Learning for Leicester University, taking students on field trips and teaching undergraduates for the Department of History of Art & Film. I also devised and delivered a number of undergraduate modules for Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln in connection with the Heritage Degree programme. Those modules included an architectural and cultural history of the English country house and a survey of English church art and architecture. In between teaching commitments, I have worked as a researcher for the National Inventory of Continental European Paintings (NICE), liaising with museum staff in the Midlands and cataloguing their holdings. I have also led art history classes for Remit, a scheme organised by Leicester City Council for adults with mental health issues. I became an accredited NADFAS lecturer in 2006 and have travelled widely speaking to groups in the UK and further afield. In 2012 I was invited by ADFAS to Australia for a lecture tour. I now regularly tour lead in Spain for ADFAS and also the Sydney based company, Academy Travel.

I have published articles and reviews in scholarly journals on a diverse range of subjects including Thomas More, early Tudor stained glass and Netley Abbey. My research for NICE culminated in a number of online entries and I contributed sections to two CD Roms produced for the Christianity and Culture Project at the University of York . Recently, a friend and I have formed our own publishing company, The Book Forge, and have successfully launched three books: A Timeline for Family Historians, A Timeline of Art History and also a history of the Leicestershire village in which I lived for 12 years. I am currently completing an edition of medieval building accounts to be published by the Oxford Historical Society.

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Lecture date: November 28th 2017

From the Depths of the Past: Rock Art from Sulawesi to Spain

Helen Sijsling

Nerja Caves
Cave art is hot. It was hot when it was discovered at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20thc and it is very hot right now. ​There is an avalanche of discoveries that we can read in scientific articles. ​Cave art is spectacular and stunning in beauty, it is mysterious​, magical and interesting, its research is exciting and paradigm-shifting.​ ​

It was discovered at exactly the same time as modern art was born - palaeolithic and modern artists had their debuts and caused commotions at the same art fairs and world exhibitions. Since then many more caves have been discovered in many more places in the world. From Spain to Sulawesi in Indonesia. Cave art with similar themes, similar quality and similar datings.
Research has been making huge leaps forward with new dating methods opening up a treasure trove of questions and possibilities.​
Spain has 7 ​areas designated as World heritage Sites with ​prehistorical ​rock art​. It includes the oldest findings in Western Europe.​ ​ Málaga's caverns contain thousands of painted and engraved images from the Palaeolithic, in fact this province boasts the largest concentration of art from that period in the Mediterranean and one of the largest on the European continent.

​In this lecture we will try to find answers to questions like: ​ Wh​en were these paintings painted? What did they paint and why? ​Who painted them? ​Neanderthal or homo sapiens? How come there is similarity in the drawings all over the world? We will be looking in depth at the most beautiful hidden images from the depths of the Past​.
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Lecture date: December 12th 2017

The Honourable East India Company: East West Trade, 1600 - 1800, Chinese Export and Chinoiserie

Vivienne Lawes


Coat of Arms

Chinese painted silk, c.1765-70
This lecture explores the way in which the East India Company developed its methods of trade. It shows how the 17th century textile trade with India established a methodology for sending out patterns to be copied by the artisans, replacing the original system of importing textiles that were native in design. The system of sending out patterns to be copied was the norm by the time the East India Company made inroads into China in the 18th century – a precursor of modern trading methods. The Company rapidly evolved its strategies, sending out several ships at a time to China and eventually setting up permanent settlements in Macao.
The currency and balance of trade is explained, and methods of production are illustrated with a number of Chinese export pieces, predominantly Chinese painted silks but also including furniture and porcelain.
The concludes with drawing the distinction between Chinese export and Chinoiserie, using examples made in Europe during the same period.
 

About Vivienne Lawes
Viv Lawes is a lecturer, curator, author and journalist, with over twenty years’ experience in the art market.

She works at several prestigious Higher Education institutions in London, leading the Modern and Contemporary unit of the Asian Art & Its Markets semester course at Sotheby’s Institute and the History of Decorative Style (c.1400-1970) course at the City & Guilds of London Art School. She also lectures for the University of the Arts and IESA (Institut d’Etudes Supérieures des Arts), London.

As Senior UK Consultant to Singapore gallery One East Asia since 2011, she has co-curated many exhibitions of Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art in London and Singapore. Her current project is a book is on themes in equine sculpture, commissioned by the Sladmore Gallery, London.

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Lecture date: January 9th 2018

Riviera Paradise: Art, Design and Pleasure in the 20s and 30s

Mary Alexander

Since the C19 English high society had 'wintered over' on the Cote d'Azur, but always left by April. In the early 1920's, however, an intoxicating mix of artists, writers, musicians and international visitors, inspired by a mythological seascape of luminous colours, created a new summer season. Sun tans and sportswear soon became 'de rigueur' in the chic new coastal resorts, villas and hotels. This liberating playground of ideas across the visual design arts was stimulated by impresarios Serge Diaghilev and Paul Poiret. Traditional boundaries were torn down. Matisse, Picasso, Dufy, Cocteau, and Chanel merged the worlds of fashion, theatre and interiors. Cole Porter, Scott Fitzgerald, and the intriguing Gerald and Sara Murphy, introduced an American perspective and attracted an influential new set of discerning patrons and collectors. We will 'time travel' to meet them.
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Lecture date: January 16th 2018

Federico García Lorca: His Life, Times and Literary Legacy

Accompanied by readings of his poetry
Roberta Kettel

A description of the life and works of the most well-known Spanish poet and dramatist of the 20th century - an iconic figure personifying the tragedy of the Spanish Civil War.
His life is seen against the background of Spanish history at that time from the 1898 Spanish American War (the year of his birth) through the Primo de Riviera dictatorship and the Second Republic to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 (the year of his execution).

The themes of his works - he wrote 11 books of poems and 9 plays - will be discussed, and there will be readings of a selection of his poems in Spanish and English, as well as a look at the importance of the three Spanish cities in his life: Granada, Madrid and Barcelona, and his close friendship with Salvador Dali´.

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Lecture date: February 13th 2018

The Extraordinary Life of Misia Sert: Celebrated Parisian Socialite 1872 - 1950

Julian Halsby
photo, 1897
Born Marie Godebska, daughter of a Polish sculptor living in France, Misia was brought up in Brussels and Paris where she became a pupil of Gabriel Fauré and a noted concert pianist. In 1893 she married Thadée Natanson owner of ‘La Revue Blanche’ an important art magazine which featured the work of Bonnard, Vuillard, and Toulouse–Lautrec all of whom painted and drew the beautiful and talented Misia Natanson. Renoir painted her portrait while declaring her love for her, as did Edouard Vuillard and during the 1890’s the Natansons were at the centre of the Paris art world.

Toulouse Lautrec, 1895
Misia’s life changed when her husband lost his money which led to the breakdown of her marriage. She met and married a rich industrialist Alfred Edwards and Misia enjoyed her role as a wealthy patron of artists and musicians. Maurice Ravel dedicated ‘La Cygne’ and ‘La Valse’ to Misia who also accompanied Caruso on the piano. In 1909 the marriage ended when Edwards fell for the young actress Genevieve Lantelme. Misia soon met and married José-Maria Sert a highly successful Spanish painter of extravagant murals.

1908 Misia saw a production of ‘Boris Godunov’ designed by Serge Diaghilev thus starting a close relationship with Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. Misia helped finance the company and took a keen interest in the new music by Stravinsky, Satie and others. She was with Diaghilev when he died in Venice in 1929.

In 1917 Misia met Coco Chanel and admired “her genius, lethal wit, sarcasm and maniacal destructiveness, which intrigued and appalled everyone”: these two extraordinary women were inseparable in their later years. This is an extraordinary and fascinating story of a talented and beautiful woman who was muse and patron of the arts who has been described as ‘The Queen of Paris’.

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Lecture date: February 20th 2018

The 7 areas of Contemporary Art Photography

Ludo Slabbaert

Morning lecture

venue: Museo de Nerja at 11:00

How can we better understand the contemporary art photography when looking at art photos in a gallery, at an art exhibition or in a catalogue ?

In this lecture Belgian amateur photographer Ludo Slabbaert will reveal an easy and practical way to interpret art photos by dividing them into seven different categories. These categories or areas- as he likes to call them- were chosen to avoid giving the impression that it is either style or the choice of the subject that determines the characteristics of current art photography. He will illustrate his system by lots of photos of well known art photographers.

Ludo Slabbaert was born in 1950 and studied Photo-Art at the Royal Academy of Arts in his home-town Antwerp. He is a member of several photo-clubs even in Nerja and an official lecturer for the Flemish Amateur Photographers’ Society. He is a specialist in large format landscapes and in the reconstruction of old glass plate negatives.
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Lecture date: March 13th 2018

Pop Art on both sides of the Atlantic

Ray Warburton OBE


Hamilton 1957
Pop art arose simultaneously in the UK and USA. Perhaps Andy Warhol was right when he said everyone was reading the same comics. While British Pop art was heavily influenced by the consumer boom and the films and music of the USA, it had its own identity, which was often ironic and self-reflective. American Pop art had the superstars including Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, who simply used the formats of advertising, mass production,

Warhol
magazines and comics, to play back to the public what the public was already eating, watching or thinking. This lecture will use a collection of Pop art paintings to explain the differences between British and American Pop art, and why some British artists, after trying it, distanced themselves from it. This lecture will be jargon-free with audience engagement, backed by high quality slides.
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Lecture date: March 27th 2018

George Orwell: Life with my father

Orwell takes coffee in Huesca
Richard Blair

"I will be working through his life and the salient points from childhood, school, Burma, tramping in London and Paris, his visit to Wigan and his time in the Spanish Civil War, his writings (novels and travelogues) illness. BBC, his huge out put of essays and articles, writing his last 2 novels, my life with him in London and on the Island of Jura and finally his death. I intersperse this with random readings from some of his more significant essays and poems. "

" The subtitle is the title of the exhibition that is ongoing until the 25th June (Orwell's birthday) in Huesca and if anybody has a mind to, it is more than well worth going to. The title is a quotation taken from Homage To Catalonia. "

The last years of Orwell's life are generally thought to have been heroically grim: the privations of World War II in London, his wife Eileen’s early death on the operating table, the shortages of the postwar years, his self-exile from London to the cold isolation of a primitive farmhouse on the Isle of Jura off the Scottish coast, the dogged composition of his nightmare masterpiece “1984,” much of it while he was bedridden with T.B., the final agony of his illness in a series of sanitoria, death in 1950 at forty-six years old. No wonder he acquired the posthumous title of St. George.

Most Orwell readers know that he and Eileen adopted a son, Richard. And that’s about all they know of Richard Blair (George Orwell was the pseudonym of Eric Blair), who has kept his silence throughout his life—until now.

So who is Orwell’s son? A retired engineer, who lives in a picturesque village in Warwickshire, and who has entirely happy memories of having spent his first six years in the company of the author of “Homage to Catalonia” and “Animal Farm.”
Orwell, by his son’s account, was a wonderful father. He gave Richard his devoted if rather rugged attention, and a degree of freedom that readers of contemporary parenting books would consider actionable. A small boy’s life with the great and dying writer was an endless adventure in the wonders and rigors of the natural world around their country house, even if most of the shared experiences Richard still remembers were of near-disasters. One fishing expedition to a shepherd’s hut on the remote part of Jura ended in a storm, with Orwell, Richard, and his three cousins nearly drowning in the Gulf of Corryvreckan. Orwell, struggling in the whirlpool that had capsized their boat, noticed a seal watching them and remarked, “Curious thing about seals, very inquisitive creatures.”

That’s the voice that described crawling through a coal mine in northern England and taking a bullet in the throat in Spain: detached, a bit austere, but alert and alive to the world. No one ever accused Orwell of being sentimental. In fact, he has a reputation for personal reserve, even coldness, and one feminist critic based a whole book on the premise that Orwell’s pessimistic vision was a product of misogyny and male dominance.

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Lecture date: April 10th 2018

Art and Life in Santa Fé, New Mexico

James Russell

This colourful lecture is based on two decades’ personal experience of a unique art colony. Nowhere else in the USA have Native American, Spanish and Anglo cultures grown side by side as they have here, and this diversity, along with the glorious light of the high desert, has attracted artists since the early days of the railroad. The history of this still-thriving colony is rich, strange and full of remarkable characters, including British visitors like DH Lawrence and famous American artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe.
"Having spent five years selling art on the city's Canyon Road (think Bond Street with cowboy hats), I can offer an intimate picture of Santa Fe: it's inspiring, funny and occasionally scandalous."
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Lecture date: May 16th 2018

Córdoba Mosque, a fusion of cultures

Jacqueline Cockburn PhD MA BA
This lecture considers the arrival of the Moors in Spain in 711, their fast invasion and the process of the building of the Mosque at Córdoba. It will outline the different building stages, the establishing of a Caliphate in Cordoba and highlight changes in regimes over the 800 years in which the Moors remained in Spain. This period of fertile growth in the arts and sciences will be discussed with reference to poetry and philosophy. The extraordinary beauty and serenity of the Mosque will be unravelled in such a way that visitors will also understand the subtle secrets and messages hidden in the architectural decorations and Arabic inscriptions. The building of the church in the centre of the Mosque will be discussed within the light of a fusion of cultures, considering whether the Christians dispelled or preserved the Moors. It will end with a discussion of the meaning of the building today.

About Jacqueline Cockburn
A linguist and art historian, with first degrees in French and Spanish and Art History, an MA in Applied Linguistics and a PhD in Art History and Spanish on 'The Drawings of García Lorca as gifts, citations and exchanges'. Has taught at Westminster School since 1984 as Head of Art History for 16 years and has lectured at Birkbeck for 20 years. She is now Managing Director of an art tour company. She is currently publishing a book on Masterpieces of Art in London.

From her company, Art and Culture Travel, website:
Jacqueline is a specialist in Western European Art History, Literature and Language, and is Managing Director of Art & Culture Travel. She originally graduated from Durham University in Modern Languages and then took an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. She completed a second BA Degree in 1996 in Art History and a PhD in 2002 at the University of London in Art History and Spanish. Her doctoral thesis dealt with Garcia Lorca’s drawings. She also speaks fluent Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Jacqueline began working at Westminster School as a teacher of Modern Languages and Literature, and later spent 16 years as Head of the Department of Art History. During this period she was also Chief Examiner in Art History at Cambridge International Examinations for 8 years and an Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London for 15 years, where she directed and wrote courses as well as teaching History of Art at all levels from Undergraduate to Post-Graduate. She is also a NADFAS accredited lecturer.

She has taken students on numerous trips to Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, New York and Berlin over the years and her knowledge of organizing and running these trips to ensure that the experience is enriching culturally and intellectually is extensive.

She has published ‘The Spanish Song Companion (1992 Gollancz- reprinted in 2005 in the United States), and been a contributor to ‘Fire, Blood and the Alphabet’ (2000 Durham University Press), ‘Crossing Fields’ (2003 Legenda Press) and ‘A Companion to Federico García Lorca’ (2007 Tamesis Press). She is currently working on Picasso’s Andalusian origins.