Review 2022/23 Season

Our First talk of the season was very well attended.

Damien Hirst.​

Our finale lecture for the 2022/23 season was a great success.
We started the afternoon at 4.30 pm when over 20 members and guests were given a tour of the beautiful and historical Garrison Library founded in 1793 for the Garrison Officers. Jennifer Ballantine curator of the library gave us marvellous history and information , followed by tea and biscuits.
Then our evening began with our usual social of wine and nibbles followed by a talk given by David Worthington about Damien Hirst. This turned out to be very controversial.  It appears you are either inspired by his work or you dislike it, both options were aired! Either way we all learnt something from David’s talk.
We had over seventy people attend, both members and guests , and we were delighted to have guests from our sister society De la Frontera!
Four new members signed up for our next season which is promising and exciting.
Over twenty of us took our lecturer out for dinner afterwards, it was a very enjoyable evening.
I would like to take this opportunity in thanking everyone for their support in our society, especially Jennifer and Chris from the Garrison Library for their help and generosity in giving their time and allowing us to use their beautiful premises.
Thank you to our committee who make sure that every meeting runs smoothly.
Thank you to our sponsors, a special thank you to Paul Church from Church and Co, for his support and generosity to our society.
It is a pleasure and a joy to bring you the marvellous opportunity to hear our experts on their varied topics.
Enriching lives through the Arts.

Pots & Frocks. The World of Grayson Perry​

This month’s talk was Pots & Frocks. The World of Grayson Perry, from Essex punk potter to Superstar National Treasure
given by Ian Swankie
It was delightful to have Ian Swankie here in person he entertained our Society during Covid with a wonderful illustrated talk on Railway Stations so we have asked him to come in person to talk to us about something completely different – Grayson Perry.
Best known for his outlandish appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry is now a core part of the art establishment, and a Turner Prize winner.
Ian told us briefly about his upbringing and the desire to cross dress as a child. His passion for his teddy bear that he named Alan Measles, and how this teddy bear and bicycles played a large part in his future art work, which began with highly decorated ceramic vases, often depicting forms of a sexual nature. Ian showed us his paintings and his incredible tapestries that he designed and had woven in France with weeks and weeks of work invested in them.
There is a strong autobiographical element in his work , in which of course his famous female alter-ego character Claire appears.
Everyone agreed it was an absorbing topic and Ian put it over so well.

Sponsored by

The Family of the
late Hon. Sol Seruya OBE

The Manufactured Woman

On Wednesday 15th March, with a great gathering of 60 Lovers of Art , we were treated to a wonderful talk from Mary Sharp.

 She told us of manufactured women from Pandora and Eve to Pigmalión and My Fair Lady.
Man has manufactured women for being the source of all evil for eons. Pandora opening her box that she was forbidden to open and Eve eating the apple she was forbidden to eat. Backed up with marvellous paintings of these nefarious ladies , Mary gave us a very interesting talk, culminating in the manufactured woman in Pigmalión and even Stepford Wives.
We are very grateful to Ibex Insurance in sponsoring the talk, our evening ended with some committee members our speaker and husband and our sponsors at Little Rock restaurant.

The Glasgow Girls

On Wednesday 15th February we had a very interesting talk from Elaine Hansen on the Glasgow Girls
Elaine has a Master’s degree in Education and taught for twenty-seven years. She now splits her year between Italy and Scotland. After taking early retirement she was free to pursue her passion, Art History, which she studied at the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. She became a guide at Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow in 2009 and gives lectures to her fellow guides
The Glasgow Girls, were a group of women artists and designers who studied and worked in Glasgow at the turn of the twentieth century. They contributed significantly to the development of the ‘Glasgow Style’, a distinctive branch of the Arts Nouveau movement of the same period. Several of the girls contributed work to Suffragette banners and jewellery.
We rounded off the evening which had quite a chill at Cafe Solo with a few members of the committee taking Elaine out for supper.
All members and friends are invited to join us for supper with the speaker after the talk , it gives you an opportunity to get to know the speaker and ask any questions about that months subject.
Our generous sponsor for this month wishes to remain anonymous 

The Sahara as Palimpsest

Welcome to our first lecture of 2023, very generously sponsored by Sorek, thank you Jens for your unwavering support in our Art Society , and a special welcome to Jens wife Victoria.
Our talk wasl entitled
The Sahara as Palimpsest by Eamonn Gearon
How many know what Palimpsest is?
A few people knew, but Eamonn went onto explain it is a manuscript from which text has been scraped or washed off and so can be used again.
His very interesting talk started with his first layer of the manuscript being ancient art portrayed on desert rocks dating back thousands of years, the next layer was the artist’s impression of the desert especially Matisse.
Finally how the desert has been used as backdrop to countless movies, but how picture companies saved money going to more accessible places to make it look as if they filmed in the Sahara.
Eamonn’s knowledge of the desert was excellent and all who attended felt they had benefited and learnt something new.
Eamonn then went on to spend two days in Gibraltar exploring all our unique history which fascinated him

The Art of the Cartoonist

Our last lecture of 2022 was a wonderful success. 

We served mulled wine and mince pies in the wonderful setting of the Garrison Library before our lecture 

Our speaker for the evening Harry Venning gave us a really entertaining talk on being a cartoonist. Light hearted and interesting, he really managed to give us some Christmas cheer with his inventive way of producing his subject. 

Generously sponsored by Church & Co , followed by a wonderful dinner organised by our sponsors for Harry and invited guests.

It was a well attended and very entertaining.

Dutch Paintings in English Country Houses

Jane Choy – Thurlow gave us an extremely interesting talk on Dutch paintings in English country houses on Wednesday 16th November sponsored by McKillopSmith.
Jane took us on a whistle stop tour from Cornwall to Scotland showing us the National Trust houses , mansions and castles that have 17th century Dutch art, as during that era it was popular for British aristocracy to purchase Dutch paintings. Jane’s knowledge of the home owners and painters was immense and she made the lecture that more interesting by pointing out the nuances of some of the paintings.
The meeting was very well attended by members and guests.


We held our first illustrated talk of the season on October 19th at the Garrison Library.

It was a wonderful evening we had 67 people attend including 7 A level students from Bayside and Westside, despite the competition of the Philharmonic Orchestra playing in St Michael’s Cave.

The subject was The Age of Jazz and Sandie Burnett, a musician and accredited Art Society lecturer, gave us a most interesting and enlightening talk of the birth of jazz in New Orleans. We listened to rare recordings of the first jazz ever to be recorded in the 1920s, and his talk took us to the Second World War with the birth of Swing and the Glen Miller band.
Beautifully presented with wonderful recordings of how jazz evolved throughout the 21st century and everyone there enjoyed an exceptional evening.
A complete change next month with the very knowledgeable Jane Choy-Thurlow telling us about the Prized Possessions of Dutch Art in National Trust Houses.
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