Sat 6th Mar 

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2021-22 season's lectures

Dec 14
Lucy Hughes-Hallet
Jan 25
Antonio Guerra and Company and narrator Helen Sijsling

Please note that this programme is not yet finalised.


Unless otherwise stated, all lectures are in the Cultural Centre, calle Granada, Nerja and start at 6pm.
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Lecture date: October 19th 2021(18:00 CET Cultural Centre, Nerja)
Stripped Naked:
the Nude in Art History
Stella Lyons


It’s no secret that a large portion of Art History is about sex. From Titian’s ravishing Venus of Urbino to Ingres’ sensual Odalisques, the nude has remained a key genre of art throughout the centuries. Looking at nude imagery from Classical Greece up until the present day, this lecture explores the roles of both female and male nudes in art.
Is the female nude always an object of desire? Are male nudes always symbols of power? What has conditioned us to believe these notions? Are there artists who challenge the conventional gender roles? This talk will investigate these topics and look at how the nude has enraptured and enraged generations of viewers.

About Stella Lyons

Stella Grace Lyons is a freelance Art History lecturer, speaker and writer accredited with The Arts Society. She has lectured across the UK, Ireland, Spain, Norway, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Malaysia and will soon embark on a lecturing tour in Australasia.

Stella gained her BA in the History of Art with a 1st class in her dissertation from the University of Bristol (2007-2011), and her MA in History of Art from the University of Warwick. She spent a year studying Renaissance art in Italy at the British Institute of Florence, and three months studying Venetian art in Venice. In addition, she attended drawing classes at the prestigious Charles H. Cecil studios in Florence, a private atelier that follows a curriculum based on the leading ateliers of nineteenth century Paris.

Stella runs her own Art History lectures both in person and online. She is a regular lecturer in the UK and Europe for The Arts Society, Tour companies, and the National Trust, amongst others. Stella is also a part-time lecturer for the University of South Wales.
She has written about art for several publications and her article on Norwegian art was recently featured on the front cover of The Arts Society magazine.

In addition to her lecturing work, Stella works as an artist’s model for the internationally renowned figurative artist, Harry Holland.

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Lecture date: November 9th 2021(18:00 CET Cultural Centre, Nerja)
Rembrandt: Bohemian or Businessman, Romantic or Rebel?
Jane Choy-Thurlow

Rembrandt is considered by many to be Holland’s greatest artist and the equal of Mozart, Shakespeare and Michelangelo. Unlike van Gogh, the other great Dutch artist, Rembrandt has not left much written material explaining his views on art, but what he has left is a unique visual autobiography in his self-portraits which he did from the age of 20 to 63, the year of his death. This lecture will use the self-portraits as a thread through his life and with his other masterpieces explore the man and what, why, and how he painted. Was he indeed a businessman or bohemian, rebel or romantic?

About Jan Choy

Jane E. Choy-Thurlow is a docent and enjoys giving lectures and tours at the Mauritshuis, Prince William V gallery and Huygens Museum Hofwijck in The Hague, The Netherlands. A few of the many exhibits in the Mauritshuis she has been part of are: the legendary Johannes Vermeer exhibit, Rembrandt by Himself and Holbein, Portraitist of the Renaissance.
An active member of The Arts Society, she is a founding member of DFAS of The Hague and has fulfilled committee positions including chairman and Mainland Europe Area Chairman and presently is Area Trainer and a New Societies committee member. She received her BSc from Salem State University, USA, her Med from Trinity College Dublin and continued art history studies at Leiden University.
In 2018 she was given the honor of Knight in the Order of Oranje Nassau by the Dutch King Willem Alexander of Orange for her knowledge and work in the field of the Arts esp. 15th to 17th century Dutch and Flemish art.

 

 

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Lecture date: November 23th 2021(18:00 CET Cultural Centre, Nerja)
A Dickens of a Christmas and God Bless Us Everyone.
Bertie Pearce

Charles Dickens has often been proclaimed as “The Man Who Invented Christmas” and indeed on hearing that Dickens had died, a cockney barrow-girl said: “Dickens dead? Then will Father Christmas die too?”  Dickens revived the Christmas traditions with his warm portrayal of Christmas in the domestic setting; with plum pudding, piping hot turkey, games, dancing  and family cheer by the hearth. Although he celebrated Christmas in numerous works it is his enduring master piece, ‘A Christmas Carol’ published on 19th December 1843 which immortalises the spirit of Christmas Cheer. Dickens was a man of extraordinary energy and talent: literary genius, reformer, public speaker, actor and amateur magician.


In his lecture Bertie Pearce reveals a Dickensian Christmas with readings, biographical details and conjuring tricks.

 

About Bertie Pearce

Bertie Pearce has a BA (Hons) in Drama from Manchester University, and a Diploma Internationale from the École Internationale du Théatre, Jacques Lecoq. A member of the Inner Magic Circle, with Gold Star. Past experience includes lecturing and performing on cruise ships, and to U3A, historical societies, festivals, schools and colleges. In addition, has toured the world with a magic cabaret show and a one man show entitled All Aboard. Has written articles for newspapers and magazines on entertainment and theatre.

Bertie is no stranger to Nerja, entertaining us in 2010, 2013, 2018; at a lunch in November 2015 he entranced us with his magic.

 

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Lecture date: December 14th 2021(18:00 CET Cultural Centre, Nerja)
Cleopatra: Images of a Dream Woman
Lucy Hughes-Hallet

Cleopatra, the woman for whose love’s sake Antony is imagined to have given up the chance to rule the Roman world, has been inspiring painters, poets and (more recently) film-makers for over two millennia. Their gorgeously voluptuous depictions of her offer insights into changing concepts of beauty, and into the racial and sexual assumptions underlying them.  Showing images ranging from Roman portrait busts, through medieval illuminations, the glorious works of Renaissance masters like Michelangelo, the splendour of Tiepolo and the exoticism of Gustave Moreau to 20th century film stars (Theda Bara, Claudette Colbert, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor and the Carry On team’s Amanda Barry), I will show how Cleopatra became a screen onto which artists have projected their wildly differing fantasies about exotic danger and erotic bliss.

 

 

About Lucy Hughes-Hallet

Lucy Hughes-Hallett is a cultural historian and biographer. Her book on Gabriele d’Annunzio, The Pike, was described in The Sunday Times as ‘the biography of the decade’. It won all three of the UK’s most prestigious prizes for non-fiction - the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Duff Cooper Prize and the Costa Biography Award. Her other non-fiction books include Cleopatra and Heroes
She also writes fiction. Her novel, Peculiar Ground, is largely set in the 17th century, and narrated by a landscape designer loosely based on the great diarist John Evelyn. It was described as 'almost Tolstoyan in its sly wit and descriptive brilliance' (The Guardian) and 'full of drama, vivid characters, wit, gorgeous writing and fascinating detail’. (New York Times).  In her short story collection, Fabulous, she retells fables from classical mythology, relocating them to modern Britain.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Historical Association, she has written on books, theatre and the visual arts for a number of publications, including The Sunday Times, The Observer, The New Statesman and the TLS, and for Radio 3’s Night Waves. She is Chair of the Judges for the 2021 International Booker Prize.  
 

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Lecture date: January 11th 2022(18:00 CET Cultural Centre, Nerja)
The Journey of the Magi:
Origins, Myth and Reality – the True Story of the Three Kings
Leslie Primo

There have been pictorial representations of The Magi from as early as at least the 6th century, such as depictions in Byzantine ivories with origins in places such as Constantinople. Indeed, a vast array of artists, such as Hieronymus Bosch (c.1450-1516), Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), Pieter Bruegel the Elder (active 1550/1; died 1569), Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Masaccio (1401-1428/9?), and Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) to name but a few, have been clearly fascinated by the story and its possibilities when it comes to visual depictions. However, these depictions over this vast period of time have been anything but consistent. All the aforementioned artists will be mentioned in this lecture, as I seek to will unravel the myth and the iconography behind the proliferation of the story of the adoration of the magi from its Eastern and pagan roots to its current Christian interpretation. To aid my examination of this story, and to trace the changes in iconography and depictions of the kings themselves, I will be illustrating it with a variety of beautiful works of art, images made across many centuries that will illuminate this fascination as never before. The lecture will begin by looking at the etymology behind the term ‘magi’ and how it has come down to us and what it now means in contemporary society. 


This lecture will then look at the changing iconography behind the depictions of the story and the various meanings behind these changes in its iconography, not to mention the changes in the story of the adoration of the magi itself.  Moving on the lecture will then look at the origin of the names of the magi and the significance of their gifts to the Christ Child.  Following this exploration of the fundamental roots of the story I will then come to the issue of the inclusion of the black king, where he came from, why he would be included, how significant was he and how European artists tackled the problem of depicting this magus when they themselves had little or no knowledge of such people of colour. 


Finally, I will examining the actual origins of the story and how much of a bearing does that story, as we understand it, have on the actual story written in the Bible.  To examine this final question, I will contrast the relevant passages the biblical with images from many sources to help clarify the difference between those and the example images.  This final part of my lecture will set out to ask what it is we want this story to mean and why do we hold on to the legendary story rather than biblical tale in our mostly Western secular society.


Ainsworth, Maryan, W. Ed, Man, Myth and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart’s Renaissance, (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010)
Campbell, Lorne, The Sixteenth Century Netherlandish Paintings with French Paintings Before 1600, (National Gallery Company Limited, 2014)
Devisse, Jean, The Image of the Black in Western Art – Vol.2 (William Morrow and Company, 1979)
Kaplan, Paul, H. D., The Rise of the Black Magus in Western Art, (Bowker Publishing Co, 1983, 1985)
Schiller, Gertrud – translated by Janet Seligman, Iconography of Christian Art, Vol.1 (Lund Humphries, 1971)
Seznec, Jean, The Survival of the Pagan Gods: The Mythological Tradition and its Place in Renaissance Humanism and Art, (Princeton University Press, Mythos series, New Jersey, 1995)

 

About Leslie Primo

Leslie Primo holds a BA in Art History and an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London. Was Visiting Lecturer in Art History at the University of Reading in 2005 and 2007, and gives lectures and guided tours, plus special talks, at both the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. Also lectures at the City Literary Institute, and has presented a series of talks at the National Maritime Museum and the Courtauld Institute.

Leslie entertained us with The Cult of the South Pacific: from Cook to Gauguin in 2011, The Divine Michelangelo in 2014 and  Foreigners in London 1520-1677: the artists that changed the course of British art in 2019.

 

 

 

 

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Lecture date: January 25th 2022(18:00 CET Cultural Centre, Nerja)
From Folklore to Flamenco, the Music of Málaga
Antonio Guerra and Company and narrator Helen Sijsling

Flamenco was born in Cádiz, however Málaga and its surrounding villages on the coast and in the mountains were a hotspot of Flamenco. Here unique Flamenco music developed, like the Malagueña, the Abandolao, influenced by the bandeloros, the smugglers, or the Verdiales that only exist in the mountains of Málaga. Famous singers emerged from Vélez Málaga, like Juan Breva. The echoes of the past will fill the air, Arabs, gypsies, smugglers. We will hear instruments unique for Málaga like the lute or the banderillo or castanets. Come and join us for a wonderful evening of authentic local Flamenco! Sung, danced and played by the wonderful Dance company of Antonio Guerra who treated us to a stunning performance last season. It will be narrated in English by Helen Sijsling.

 

 

About Antonio Guerra

Antonio Guerra has had a Flamenco dancing Academy in Vélez Málaga for more than 30 years. He has performed internationally and nationally on many stages. Last year he participated in our lecture The Heartbeat of the South, the history of Flamenco.
Ruben Portillo is a great guitar player from Vélez Málaga, performing abroad as well as locally. he loves looking for contacts with all kinds of musicians. He had concerts with Indian musicians which they called Bombay. He also organizes Flamenco performances in Velez Málaga and Torre del Mar under the name of Flamenco Abierto, mostly in the Peña Niño de Vélez. He performs nearly every Friday evening in the Peña in Vélez. He too participated in the lecture last year: The Heartbeat of the South.
Mamen Ruiz is also a local singer, a teacher of art as well, she has a lovely elegant voice, easy to understand. Together with Ruben she forms the group SAMARUCO.

About Helen Sijsling
Helen Sijsling is a great lover of Flamenco and has been a student of Antonio Guerra for more than 15 years. As they do not speak English she loves to help them to get their love for flamenco across and to explain in English what the music and dance is about.
Together they would love to share their love for the flamenco that came into existence in Vélez and in Málaga with you.

 

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Lecture date: February 15th 2022(15:00 CET Cultural Centre, Nerja)
Dickens, Lawrence and Zhivago:
David Lean's Art of Cinema
Neil Faulkner PhD FSA

Cinematic images are modern art forms. In the ‘golden age’ of cinema – before the development of CGI technology – film-makers had to construct sets to represent landscapes, townscapes, and interiors. Sometimes they used paintings and photographs, sometimes they built scale models, sometimes they constructed full-size replicas. In each case, they created an art installation they then captured in celluloid images.
Drawing on new insights from the archaeology of cinema, this lecture will use the films of renowned British director David Lean to explore the art of cinema. How do the ‘artists’ – in this case formed of large collaborative teams (directors, screenwriters, production designers, costume designers, camera crews, fixers, etc) – choose locations, construct sets, dress actors, and, more generally, ‘imagine’ the world they seek to represent? How much is authentic, and how much preconception and prejudice? What are the influences on the way the cinema depicts the world?

About Neil Faulkner

Educated at King's College Cambridge and Institute of Archaeology UCL. Works as lecturer, writer, archaeologist and occasional broadcaster. Research Fellow, University of Bristol. Editor, Military History Monthly. Director, Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project. Director, Great Arab Revolt Project. Author of The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain, Apocalypse, Hidden Treasure, Rome: Empire of the Eagles, and The Ancient Greek Olympics: a visitor's guide. Author of forthcoming Lawrence of Arabia's War. Major TV appearances include Channel 4's Time Team, BBC2's Timewatch, Channel Five's Boudica Revealed and Sky Atlantic's The British.

Neil talked to us about TE Lawrence in 2019.

 

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Lecture date: March 1th 2022(18:00 CET Cultural Centre, Nerja)
Picasso, Lorca, Flamenco
Dani Muñoz
NB. This is the first Tuesday of the month.


Flamenco music and dance inspired in different ways the paintings of Pablo Picasso and Federico García Lorca’s poems and plays. This lecture explores some of the connections between the expressions of flamenco and the creative works of these renowned Andalusian masters.

About Dani Muñoz

Daniel Muñoz is a Lecturer in History of Christianity at the Protestant Faculty of Theology of Madrid.
He was born in Málaga, grew up in Nerja, and studied in the UK and Spain. He was ordained an Anglican minister and served in the Oxford Diocese between 2001-2010. 
Between 2010 and 2018 he was chaplain and programme director at the Los Olivos Anglican retreat centre in the Sierra Nevada national park. 
His interests include the intersections between the arts and spirituality and religion.

Daniel spoke to us about Mystical Painting and Poetry in March 2015 and aout the Spanish Inquisition in January 2021.

 

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Lecture date: March 15th 2022(15:00 CET Cultural Centre, Nerja)
Treasures of the Fan Museum: the allure of the fan from Ancient Egypt to Street Art
Jacob Moss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of The Fan Museum, London

Advertising fan for Möet & Chandon Champagne.
Double paper leaf printed on both sides with stylised masked female faces, signed A. LOPEZ.
French, ca. 1930
The Fan Museum, LDFAN2003.423.HA

‘Applied Faces’ folding fan with lavish sticks of alternating materials.
The double paper leaf is painted similarly on both sides with bustling scenes populated by Chinese officials and other figures with ivory faces and robes fashioned from fragments of silk. 
Chinese (for export), ca.1880s
The Fan Museum, LDFAN1990.1.117

Folding fan, the leaf painted by E. Parmentier. Also signed by the maker, Alexandre.
France, ca. 1860s

Geometric Pleats
Sipo wood fan, the paper leaf painted with a bold geometric design. 
Annatomix / Sylvain Le Guen, 20
The Fan Museum Trust Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Jacob Moss

 

 

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Lecture date: April 12th 2022(18:00 CET Cultural Centre, Nerja)
How Don Quixote conquered the Art World
Richard Whincop

Following in the footsteps of the world’s most famous dreamer and knight-errant, this lecture traces his parallel life in the visual arts, where he was variously ridiculed, pitied and revered.

The journey will take in the sumptuous tapestry designs of French Academy director Charles Coypel, and their parodies of classical masterpieces. It will examine how Don Quixote helped to fuel a new school of English painting in the work of Hogarth and his circle; and how he became a hero to Daumier and Doré in the Romantic era.

The final episode will show Cervantes’ fantasist hero inspiring the imagery of Picasso‘s Guernica – and shaping the “Quixotic” character of the archetypal modern artist.

 

About Richard Whincop

Richard is a professional artist who graduated in English and Art History from York University in 1986. From 1988-1994 he lectured at the adult education departments of Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities, and then went on to become a full-time figurative artist, executing large-scale public commissions, and exhibiting widely throughout the UK. He now lives and works in Chichester, West Sussex.
 

 

 

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Lecture date: May 10th 2022(18:00 CET Cultural Centre, Nerja)
Pots and Frocks:
the World of Grayson Perry from Essex Punk Potter to Superstar National Treasure
Ian Swankie


Widely known for his outlandish appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry is now a core part of the art establishment. A Turner Prize winner, Royal Academician, popular broadcaster and colourful character. He’s possibly one of the world’s best known contemporary artists. His works of ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. Often controversial, he tackles difficult subjects in a poignant yet witty way and holds a mirror up to society. This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s work, his exciting and thought-provoking exhibitions, and the unique character inside the flamboyant frocks.

 

About Ian Swankie

Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives tours at each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and leads regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Six years ago, he established a weekly independent art lecture group in his home town of Richmond in West London, and he gives talks on a variety of subjects. He is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society, and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.