Woking DFAS
is a charity
reg: 1150308
We are a
member society
of The Arts Society
known as

The Arts Society formerly NADFAS

Application Form

Zoom Guidance
Guidance for Zoom meetings online - The Arts Society Woking
Click here for Zoom Guidance

Talks 2022

Talks 2023
2023 Talks Programme
Click here to view our Talks programme for 2023

Talks Prev Years

Woking DFAS Talk Programme for September to December 2020

PLEASE NOTE: From September to December 2020 our talks will be online. We will revert to having live talks as soon as we can in 2021. The 2021 programme can be viewed here.

January 8th 2020

Talk:The Magic of Pantomime

Ian will examine the history of pantomime... a peculiarly British institution... from its origins in 16th century Italian commedia dell’arte through to the influence of 19th century music hall and on to the family shows that are much loved today.

He will tell us of the origins of some of the stories used in pantomime as well as such traditions as the (female) principal boy and the (male) pantomime dame. The talk is interspersed with personal anecdotes from his experiences of working and appearing professionally in pantomime.
Arts Society Woking Pantomime
LINDA GRAY (Linda starred as Sue Ellen Ewing in “Dallas”)
Linda aged 74, with a magic wand playing the Fairy Godmother in a Pantomime in Wimbledon.ong
Speaker: Ian Gledhill 
Ian has had a very varied career, from designing underground railways as an engineer for London Transport, to appearing in pantomime with Julian Clary. In between he has worked in travel and tourism, music publishing, television, and especially the theatre, where he has been an actor, director, set designer, stage manager and opera translator.

His main interests include architecture, history, transport and classical music, especially opera and operetta, and these are reflected in the wide ranging list of subjects for his talks. He began giving talks in 1997, and now gives on average around 140 a year.

February 12th 2020

Talk: Raphael 500th Anniversary

Raphael is often referred to as one of the three giants of the High Renaissance in Italy alongside Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. His career was short-lived as he died tragically young aged 37. Yet in this relatively short space of time Raphael managed to move from humble initial commissions in and around his home town of Urbino to the covetous position of one of the leading artists at the court of Pope Julius II for whom he created some of the most sublime and influential frescoes of the early 16th century.

Sian will explore how Raphael achieved this extraordinary rise in status, tracing the development of early works and influences to the masterpieces created in Rome.
Painted by Raphael in 1504
Speaker: Sian Walters
Sian studied at Cambridge University. She is a speaker at the National Gallery and The Wallace Collection. She taught at Surrey University, specialising in 15th and 16th century Italian painting, Spanish art & architecture, and the relationship between dance and art. Sian also teaches private courses, and organises talks, study days and art holidays abroad.
She has lived in France and Italy, where she worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice.

March 11th 2020

Talk: The Field Of Cloth Of Gold: 6,000 Englishmen In France For 18 Days - How Did They Do It?

Five centuries ago in 1520 the Kings of England (Henry VIII) and France (Francis l) arranged a spectacular meeting lasting 18 days to try to seal a strategic alliance between the two countries designed to keep at bay the Habsburg King, Charles V and his Holy Roman Empire which surrounded France on all landward sides. There was also the need to resist Ottoman expansion into continental Europe. Both Kings were young and still in their twenties and so the agenda included jousting, games and much alcohol. The event took place near Calais on English owned land. It is said that the meeting ended on a rather sour note when Henry was beaten by Francis in a wrestling match.

However our Speaker, Jo Mabbut, will concentrate on the logistics of staging this event so lavish that it emptied the treasury coffers of both countries. Included were an enormous palace and a chapel with an organ. Gold and silver cloth, velvet and sables, jewels and pearls were imported to ‘dress and impress’. The tents and the costumes used so much cloth of gold, an expensive fabric woven with silk and gold thread, that the site of the meeting was named after it.
woking arts society lecture 

April 8th 2020 - Rescheduled to January 2021 due to Covid

Talk: Coloured Sculpture: What’s All the Fuss About?

 Throughout most of the nineteenth century, it was considered almost a crime for Sculptors to apply colour to a statue. Such practices, it was thought, defied the dominant aesthetic of neoclassical statuary — the pure, undifferentiated, classical white marble body inherited from ancient Greece. Gradually, through the centuries, the conservative stranglehold loosened and various forms of coloured sculpture began to catch on. Coming to the present day, Tom Flynn has written books about Sean Henry's coloured statues.

Sean (whose Mother, Rosalind Henry, was a Member of TAS Woking,) has won a broad international reputation as one of the most talented British artists of his generation. This talk investigates the fascinating controversy about the use of colour in statues over time and asks what all the fuss was about.
woking statue of woman in shopping mall 
Speaker: Tom Flynn
Tom is a UK-based art historian, writer and art consultant. He holds a BA Honours degree (First Class) in Art History from the University of Sussex, a Masters in Design History from the Royal College of Art and a doctorate from the University of Sussex. His interests include contemporary art, sculpture history, museology and the history of museums, art crime, issues in cultural heritage and the historical development and professional practice of the European art markets.

May 13th 2020 - Rescheduled to March 2021 due to Covid

Talk:  Restoration Theatre -  Rakes, Fops and Wenches

The return of Charles II led to the re-opening of theatres after the 18 year closure of public playhouses under the Commonwealth Government. The new theatres saw the first actress on the stage replacing the cross-dressing males. Great actors and lively audiences in Restoration Theatre brought the morals of the court onto the stage in its comedies of city life and an era of great playwriting was unleashed.
Speaker: Malcolm Jones
Malcolm studied at University of London, King’s College London and RADA. He has worked as an actor, director and teacher and backstage at the Royal Opera House. He was Workshop and Events Manager at the V&A Theatre Museum in London for 10 years. Since 2009 he has talkd on the V&A Short Course and Year Course Programme on Theatre and has also worked on the Art and Expression Programme. He has taught at Rose Bruford College, Mountview Theatre School, The Actors Centre and RADA.

He has written material for The National Theatre Education Department and contributed as a speaker on theatre to many television programmes while working at the Theatre Museum. He talks for Road Scholar USA, for Theatre groups visiting London and he has talkd in America.

June 10th 2020 - Rescheduled to October 2021 due to Covid

Talk: Clara Rhino Superstar

Brought up as a house pet by a Director of the Dutch East India Company in India, from a young age, a rhinoceros called “Clara” was shipped to Holland in 1741 and spent nearly 20 years touring Europe as one of the wonders of the age. She visited all the major Courts of Europe including that of King Louis XV of France. She died in London in 1758. Clara has been recorded in paintings, prints porcelain, bronze, clocks and even hair styles. This talk explores the charming story of this magnificent beast, only the third or fourth rhino to be seen in Europe, through contemporary records and works of art.
Speaker: Clive Sinclaire-Lockhart
Clive studied on the Sotheby's Works of Art course and has now been working in the fine art world for 40 years. He is Managing Director of Woolley and Wallis, the UK's leading regional auctioneers in Salisbury and has been a specialist on the BBC Antiques Roadshow for over 20 years. Has also talkd on cruise ships as well as for many other groups, and recently published a major article in the Journal of the Decorative Arts Society on Betty Joel.

July 2020

No Talk (Summer break)

August  2020

No Talk (Summer break)

September 9th 2020

Talk: Dickens, Lawrence of Arabia, and the Cinematic Art of David Lean

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, and sometimes they constructed full-size replicas. In each case, they created an art installation that they then captured in celluloid images.

Drawing on new insights from the archaeology of cinema, this talk 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?
September 2020 Lecture by Dr Neil Faulkner 
Speaker: Dr Neil Faulkner PhD  
Dr Faulkner last visited us in 2015 when his talk on Lawrence of Arabia was rated outstanding. He works as a speaker, writer, archaeologist, and broadcaster.  

October 14th 2020

Talk: The Gold Lyre of Ur

The name of the lyre is derived from its adornment of an eye catching gold bull’s head .This talk is an account of the construction of a replica of the Mesopotamian Gold Lyre of Ur which is the oldest known stringed instrument dating back to 2,500 BC. It was made from authentic materials from the Middle East: cedar wood, mother-of-pearl, pink limestone and lapis lazuli. Of particular note is the bull’s head on the front of the instrument which is covered in gold.

A Power Point illustration with sound will show all the stages of the making the lyre as well as musicians performing with it. The story of the acquisition of the materials, and the construction, is quite dramatic, and the finished product is amazing.
The reproduction of the GOLDEN LYRE OF UR
Speaker: Jennifer Sturdy
Jennifer, a teacher of German and English, first became involved with the Gold Lyre of Ur Project in 2003, initially as a researcher and administrator, but as it progressed, she also gave talks about how the team had managed to build such a magnificent instrument with the help of volunteers from around the world.

She talks at academic conferences, universities, churches and schools. She also became a performer, dressing in Mesopotamian costume and reciting the poetry from Sumerian times, such as the epic of Gilgamesh.

November 11th 2020

Talk: One Hundred Years of Deception

The 1700s was a period where the people of England seemed to be especially gullible. They believed a woman could give birth to rabbits; that a man could climb inside a wine bottle and sing and dance inside it; and a balloonist could fly in a Chinese Temple. These and other hoaxes - which involved the likes of Jonathan Swift, Samuel Johnson and the politician Charles James Fox - were written about in newspapers and journals and brilliantly and amusingly depicted by satirical artists such as William Hogarth and James Gillray.

In this entertaining talk Ian relates and illustrates sundry hoaxes and deliberate deceptions; all of which are memorable not only for the imaginative nature of the swindles, but also because of the differing motives of the tricksters.
“Duke William’s Ghost” by James Gillray
Ghosts...were the most believed in of all deceptions
Speaker: Ian Keable
IIan gained a first class degree from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant and then became a professional magician. He is a Member of the Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star. He is currently performing a show about Charles Dickens, who was an amateur conjurer, called The Secret World of Charles Dickens. In 2014 he published Charles Dickens Magician: Conjuring in Life, Letters & Literature. Recently he presented a paper Hogarth, Gillray & Cruikshank and the Bottle Conjurer Hoax at a conference at the University of Brighton.

December 9th 2020

Talk: IO Saturnalia!

Happy Christmas the Roman Way Early Christians celebrated Christmas at the same time as the ancient Romans were feasting and partying for their pagan Saturnalia festival. Many of the pagan habits were therefore absorbed into our Christmas traditions. Present-giving, holly and even party-hats all have their origins in this 2000 year old party. This talk will revel in artwork that is ancient and modern as the images and stories behind our festive season are unwrapped.
“IO” is a greeting pronounced as “YO”
Speaker: Gillian Hovell
Gillian gained a BA (Hons) Latin and Ancient History from Exeter University after which she studied archaeology.

Her media experience includes being an interviewer and presenter for the BBC. She is also a writer on History and archaeology. As a Speaker she presents lively, passionate and engaging talks on ancient history and archaeology, Her clients include the British Museum, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, Classical Associations, The Arts Society, national media, universities and schools and local societies.

Prior Year's Talks
To see the activities in previous years, click on the year; 2020 / 2019 20182017 20162015 2014 20132012 2011 2010
The Arts Society Woking cannot be held responsible for any personal accident, loss, damage or theft of members' personal property. Members are covered against proven liability of third parties.


Web Site Development by www.Surrey Artists.co.uk
© Copyright Woking Decorative & Fine Art Society
© Copyright Surrey Artists - Part of the all about Weybridge Website Group