Friday 19th July 2024 (CEST)

2015-16 season's lectures

Oct 13
Juliet Heslewood
Nov 11*
Theodora Clarke
Feb 16*
Kate Hayes
* morning lecture
All lectures are in the Cultural Centre, calle Granada, Nerja. The morning lectures start at 11am; the others start at 6pm.

Lecture date: October 13th 2015

Gauguin's Women

Juliet Heslewood
Despite his reputation, Gauguin held certain women in great respect.
His exotic childhood and bourgeois marriage might account for much of this esteem. The lecture looks at how Gauguin represented his adventurous mother, his conventional wife and his lovely daughter as well as his poor Parisian and his exotic Tahitian mistresses.
Juliet Heslewood has published twelve books, including The History of Western Painting, and recently books on artists' mothers, lovers, children and self-portraits. She now lives in Oxfordshire, having lived for 30 years in France; she still does study tours in France as well as concentrating on her writing career.

Lecture date: November 10th 2015

Russian and Soviet Art: from Icons to Socialist Realism

Theodora Clarke
15th century icon
This lecture is aimed at anyone with an interest in Russian and Soviet art. This talk offers an introduction to an intriguing period of artistic and political evolution in Russia. We aim to present the major movements and artists of 20th century Russian art and to place the various “isms” of the avant-garde within a wider cultural context. Major artists to be considered include Kandinsky, Malevich, Tatlin, Lissitzky, Goncharova, Chagall, Rodchenko and Popova. Key topics to be discussed include imperial patronage of Russian art under the Tsar and the evolution of various avant-gardes in Russia.

Art movements to be considered include the World of Art, the Blue Rose Group, the Wanderers and Knave of Diamonds. We will then consider the rise of geometric non-objective painting, the creation of a new Soviet culture after the 1917 Russian Revolution and how Socialist Realist painting came about in the USSR after 1932. Major works in the State Russian Museum collections will be examined including paintings in the Hermitage and the Tretyakov Gallery in St Petersburg and Moscow. We will study artistic creativity during a time of revolutionary change and look at cultural connections between Russia and Europe. The aim of the lecture is to introduce you to a variety of artists working at a dynamic time in Russian history.

Ilya Repin
Tolstoy 1901
Kandinsky, Moscow, 1914

Russian Art & Culture started life as a student blog she set up whilst studying for her PhD at the University of Bristol. After becoming an accidental entrepreneur Theodora left her studies to run the business full time. Prior to specialising in Russian art, she did work experience in the Old Master’s Department at Christie’s in London and later in New York. In 2010 she worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and helped to curate several exhibitions.

She has written articles for numerous publications and is a popular commentator on Russian culture with a particular focus on the Russian avant-garde and twentieth century modernism. Read her columns for Huffington Post here and for Russia Beyond the Headlines here. She is also an accredited lecturer for NADFAS and runs cultural tours to Russia. Theodora recently curated a one man exhibition of contemporary Russian artist Boris Chetkov and published a book of his work in November 2013 with The Pushkin Gallery.

Theodora obtained a First Class BA Honours degree in History of Art at Newcastle University and then studied for an MA in Russian Art at the Courtauld Institute in Art in London under Prof. John Milner.

Lecture date: November 11th 2015

Ballet Russes

Theodora Clarke
This lecture aims to introduce NADFAS members to their work in conjunction with Diaghilev and his internationally renowned ballet company the Ballets Russes. Diaghilev was a leading patron of the Russian avant-garde in the West who interacted with major artistic figures of the day. We will examine his use of the artist in ballet productions and thereby trace the Ballets Russes' role in the history of modernism.

Particular attention will be on the costumes and set designs by the three artists Chagall, Picasso and Matisse. Seminal productions covered with include The Nightingale (1920) and Parade (1917). The lecture will focus closely on the visual and moving image; we will look at costume and set designs, photographs, printed ephemera and ballet film footage.

The lecture will include a general introduction to key themes and artists of the early twentieth-century avant-garde and trace their artistic development through their involvement with the Ballets Russes. Themes of emigration, exchange and the creation of a Russian cultural identity in the West will also be examined.


Lecture date: December 15th 2015

The art and architecture of Armenia on the crossroads between east and west

Sarah Searight

Mt Ararat
The Art and Architecture of Armenia: on the crossroads between east and west Armenia stands at the crossroads between East and West. Its landscape is dominated by mountains, steppes and river gorges - wild, beautiful and varied. Its people spread north, south, east and west, traditionally trading between neighbours near and far. In periods of prosperity Armenians built magnificent, elaborately decorated churches which have survived the centuries. Its culture is also reflected in splendidly illuminated manuscripts.

Aghtamar Church, Lake Van

Haghartsin monastery

Tatev Aerial Tramway

Lecture date: January 12th 2016

Shock! Horror! Probe! The art and artifice of ‘Fleet Street’: A newspaper story in pictures

Geri Parlby BA (Hons), MA (Courtauld), PhD, FRSA
Since the end of the 15th century, when Wynkyn de Worde set up England's first printing press and after 1702, when the first newspaper, the Daily Courant, moved in, the term "Fleet Street" has been synonymous with newspaper journalism. In this lecture we will be looking at the ups and downs of this notorious 'Street of Shame' via the art that illustrated its stories.

Lecture date: January 26th 2016

Andalusian Landscapes, Living Contrasts

Jose Padilla
Andalusia is a land of contrasts whether you are in the country side or on the coast. Living the drastic changes of the Andalusian landscapes can be a minute's drive. Feel the dry air of the Andalusian desert, experience a subtropical environment or visit alpine villages driving less than two hours; the rainiest spot in the Iberian Peninsula, the villages with highest temperatures in Spain, the most Southern tip in Europe, the highest summit in continental Spain, marvellous cliffs of the Mediterranean Coast or the white sand beaches of the Atlantic Ocean: only Andalusia can offer you all these world landscapes in a single region.

Andalusian landscapes are so unique due to multiple factors: topography, climate, biology, culture, human influence... turning it into a primeval paradise surrounded by the most diverse weathers. The man took advantage of it molding this land along the history giving to us a gorgeous combination of natural & human features setting up spectacular landscapes that have inspired several artists in the history.


Lecture date: February 09th 2016

Three Great Families and their Gardens: a history of the Astors, the Rothschilds and the Sackville Wests

Caroline Rayman
Three Great Families and their Gardens is the story of three very different, but hugely successful families, the Sackville Wests, the Astors and the Rothschilds. The Sackville Wests have been part of the establishment since Tudor times and the other two families are wealthy immigrants who came to England in the l9th century. The talk traces the history of the families, discusses their contribution to life in England and celebrates the splendid gardens that they have created.

Lecture date: February 16th 2016

Mexico City to Campeche

Kate Hayes
In February and March 2015 Kate and Martyn Hayes travelled to Mexico. They visited four colonial cities. Their final destination was Mexico City.
Kate will show you some of their photos, tell you about some of the things that fascinated her and share some of their experiences.

Mexico City

Pyramid of the Niches, Papantla

Olmec Head, Villahermosa

Floating Gardens of Xochimilco

Lecture date: March 15th 2016

Leipzig: Architecture, Art and Music - JS Bach, Mendelssohn, Wagner

Denis Moriarty
Leipzig: Mendelssohn, Wagner and Bach

Mendelssohn, Wagner and J S Bach,a biography of Leipzig which plays host to all three; . Leipzig, home to JSB, M and W or the other way round. The lecture also includes a brief historical cum architectural survey- mediaeval and book fairs, the bombing-close to Dresden- and the old East Germany,where dissent sparked the events that led to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and all that flowed therefrom.

Denis Moriarty's prime interests are music - he sang for a number of years in the Philharmonia Chorus – and architecture; he has a special love of England and its churches and enjoys long walks in the countryside. He is a keen opera and theatre-goer, and at university performed in plays and revue with among others, Dudley Moore. Denis Moriarty is a former Mayor of Henley-on-Thames and was twice a parliamentary candidate in the two general elections of 1974. He lives in central London. Denis Moriarty edited Alec Clifton-Taylor's papers and architectural notes for a posthumous publication BUILDINGS OF DELIGHT-Gollancz 1986, who also published his own book BUILDINGS OF THE COTSWOLDS in 1989, both reissued as paperback in the Building Heritage series 2000.
He contributed the article on Alec Clifton-Taylor to the Dictionary of National Biography, OUP 1990


Lecture date: March 22th 2016

The art and architecture of the Khmer Empire, 6th to 13th century

Michael O'Brien PhD
This lecture includes a brief account of the geography, the historical sources, the language and religion of the Khmers and traces the development of the empire from small Indianised states in the 6thc. to the establishment of their capital in the Angkor region in 802 and on to its demise after the middle of the 13thc. I will show how their sculpture and architecture evolved during this time. There are hundreds of temples and other structures at Angkor, three of the most significant will be discussed in more detail, Banteay Srei (967), Angkor Wat (early 12th.c) and The Bayon (early 13th c.) with brief mention of some others for their sculptural or architectural interest.

Lecture date: April 12th 2016

Wanderings amongst the nomadic tribes of Iran and Afghanistan:

Brian MacDonald
"My time spent in Iran and Afghanistan during the 1970s began to foster a passion for the wonderful weavings produced by nomads on basic ground looms and the symbolic representation contained within this woven art. My subsequent visits were spent travelling and searching amongst nomadic tribes for these exquisite 19th century weavings, which have become harder to find and have now virtually disappeared.

Today, these nomadic people no longer weave spontaneously and the language of symbols is lost. The meanings may now be forgotten by the weavers but the magical and mythical symbols remain - pan of the endless cycle which has linked countless women for thousands of years.

This lecture illustrates the woven art of the nomads as they move over the territories they have travelled for generations. The audience will have the opportunity of looking at and examining vanity-bags, salt-bags, bedding-bags, wheat sacks, bread and dining flat-weaves. The lecture also explores the symbolism contained in these fabulous weavings and some of the stories and adventures I experienced whilst looking for them."


Lecture date: May 10th 2016

Lost on the Titanic: The Making of the Great Omar Binding

Dominic Riley
The Great Omar was the most fabulous, elaborate and opulent binding ever created. It was embellished with over one thousand jewels, five thousand leather onlays and a hundred square feet of gold leaf, and took a team of craftsmen over two and a half years to make. It went down with the Titanic.
This lecture tells the story of the making of the fabulous Great Omar. It is also the story of the renowned bookbinding firm of Sangorski and Sutcliffe - who were known for their elaborate jewelled bindings - and the men that made this extraordinary book. It also tells the moving story of life after the tragedy, and of one young man in particular, who decided against the odds to recreate the binding, a venture which itself is mired in tragedy and which occupied him for the rest of his life.