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The Arts Society Woking's Talk Programme 2016

All Speakers are carefully chosen based on their reputation for attractive and well-presented talks with good pictures. Talks take place on the second Wednesday of each month except July and August.
Talks commence promptly at 10.30am at The Lord Roberts Centre, Bisley Camp, Brookwood, Woking GU24 0NP  
 This website includes an Interactive map.
Coffee and biscuits are served from 9.45am.
Members may bring a visitor, but the same person may not be a guest more than twice a year. While we do not charge a Visitors fee, Visitors may want to make a donation to the Society of (say) £5.

For the 2017 Talk Programme, please click here
January 13th 2016

Talk: The Art And Craft Of John Piper

Speaker: Jo Walton BA Dip Hist Art (Oxon)
Jo Walton ran a specialist art bookshop in London, had a working relationship with Christies, taught adult education classes in art history and was a volunteer guide for Tate Modern and Tate Britain. Today much of Jo’s work is as an Arts Society speaker but she also talks for Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Art Fund and for local art groups and societies.
Lecture: The Art And Craft Of John Piper - Blenheim Palace 
Blenheim Palace by John Piper .Source: Blenheim Palace
John Piper (1903-1992) was an abstract painter, writer, critic, typographer and lover of architecture. He became one of the best known Official War artists depicting powerful images of the destruction of Coventry cathedral, the Houses of parliament and the city of Bath. He is also well-known for his illustrations in the Shell Guides working with John

February 10th 2016

Talk: “Wild Beasts”‘of 1905 Fauve & French Expressionist Painting

Speaker: Frank Woodgate BA MBCS ACIB.
Although this will be Frank’s first visit to The Arts Society Woking his wife, Val, has talkd to us on several occasions. Frank is a speaker and Guide at Tate Modern. He has talkd on P & O cruises and is a script writer.
Woking DFAS Lecture: “Wild Beasts”‘of 1905 Fauve & French Expressionist Painting
The Dance II by Henri Matisse 1910. Source: The Hermitage, St Petersburg
“Fauve” which is The French equivalent of German Expressionism is full of colour and a sense of joie de vivre, and artists such as Matisse and Derain caused a sensation when their works were exhibited alongside a classicised sculpture in Paris in 1905. A critic referred to the sculpture as “Donatello parmis les fauves” (Donatello among the wild
beasts), giving the name to the movement.

March 9th 2016

Talk: Murderers, Magicians, Madmen & Monarchs. Shakespeare Through Artists’ Eyes

Speaker: Vivien Heffernan BA Cert ED.
Vivien Heffernan is an art history tutor for the continuing education departments of Essex and Cambridge Universities, colleges and adult education organisations. Vivien, who is visiting us for the first time, is a long-standing speaker with the Open University on art history courses ranging from the early Renaissance to the 20th century. As an Arts Society
speaker Vivien has also talkd in Australia and New Zealand. She is also a practising artist.
Woking DFA Lecture: Murderers, Magicians, Madmen & Monarchs. Shakespeare through Artists’ Eyes
David Garrick as Richard III By William Hogarth 1745. Source: Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
Shakespeare’s plays over the past three centuries have provided artists with wonderfully rich source material. Painters have been inspired by extremes of passion, by sprites, ghosts and monsters, by the humanity of everyday characters and by Shakespeare’s evocative language. Two tragedies Macbeth and Hamlet and a comedy, A Midsummer
Night’s Dream will be explored. Many Artists have illustrated these plays. The talk includes works by Fuseli, Blake, Landseer and Millais. The images will be accompanied by recorded readings by a Royal Shakespeare Company actor.

April 13th 2016

Talk: The Georgian House Around The World

Speaker: Roger Mitchell
Roger Mitchell studied History at Oxford and Fine Art at Leeds. He then travelled and studied in the USA with a Churchill Award. A former college Vice Principal, he now talks at the University of Liverpool and for adult residential colleges. In addition to lecturing for The Arts Society, he organises and leads country house tours and also carries out research at Chatsworth. This is his first visit to The Arts Society Woking.
Woking DFAS Lecture: The Georgian House Around The World
Vassal – Longfellow House 1759 in New England displaying fully developed colonial Georgian style.
The Georgian House between 1720 and 1850 was one of Britain’s most successful exports. It was elegant and versatile, particularly suitable for hot climates and a wide variety of building materials. British or local architects might provide plans but a carpenter or bricklayer equipped with a pattern book could produce a satisfactory product. In this
talk we travel with Roger from England across the Irish Sea and then across the Atlantic to the American Colonies. We continue to the far side of the world, looking at Georgian buildings in Australia and New Zealand before heading for home with a brief stop in Cape Town.

May 11th 2016

Talk: South West Modernism – Avangarde In New Mexico

Speaker: Trisha Passes BA (Hons) MA
Trisha has taught Art History at Bristol University since 2005 and in 2009 won the teaching and learning prize for the Faculty of Fine Arts. She has also taught in the Department of Continuing Education at Oxford University since 2008. This is her first visit to Woking.
Woking DFAS Lecture: South West Modernism – Avangarde In New Mexico
Indian Girl with Parrot and Hoop, painted by Victor Higgins 1920
South West Modernism – Avant Garde in New Mexico will focus on the vibrant artists’ colony that developed in Taos New Mexico in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. It attracted Georgia O'Keeffe and Marsden Hartley during the 1920's and 1930's.

June 8th 2016

Talk: The Genius Of Stradivari

Speaker: Toby Faber MA MBA
Toby Faber began his career as an investment banker with Barclays de Zoete Wedd followed by a stint as management consultant with McKinsey & Company. In 1996, he joined Faber and Faber, a publishing firm founded by his grandfather, where he was managing director until 2001. He has written two books to date (on the violin-maker Antonio Stradivari, the other on the Imperial Easter Eggs made by Carl Fabergé) and now talks widely on these two topics and on the history of Faber and Faber. This is his first visit.
Woking DFAS Lecture: The Genius Of Stradivari
Portrait of Antonio Stradivari by Alton S. Tobey, 1971.   Source: Oberlin College Library, Ohio.
For more than 250 years Antonio Stradivari’s violins and cellos have been the most highly prized instruments in the world, loved by musicians for their tone and beauty and capable of fetching fabulous sums of money when sold. How can it be that successive generations of violin-makers have failed to meet the standard set by Stradivari? Following instruments from Stradivari’s Cremonese workshop to the present day, this talk which includes illustrations and short musical recordings, explores that mystery

July 2016

No Talk (Summer break)

August  2016

No Talk (Summer break)

September 14th 2016

Talk: The Great Fire Of London 1666 (350th Anniversary)

Speaker: Barbara Askew BA (Hons) Dip Ed MITG
Barbara graduated with an honours degree in History and taught history for 15 years before qualifying as a City of London Guide in 1987 and as a London Blue Badge Guide in 1988. She is a Speaker, Course Director and Examiner on Blue Badge Guide Training Courses and City of London Guide Training Courses.
Barbara is a Freeman of the City of London and regularly conducts groups on walking tours in the City. This is her visit to The Arts Society Woking.
Woking DFAS Lecture: The Great Fire Of London 1666 (350th Anniversary)
Unknown Artist circa 1700 Source: London Fire Brigade
The Great Fire of London of 1666, which came only months after the Great Plague, devastated most of the City of London. 13,500 houses, 87 churches and 44 livery halls, as well as many public buildings, were destroyed within four days. This talk examines the devastation wrought by the fire, looks at the inspirational plans put forward for the
rebuilding of the City and explains how the reconstruction which followed changed the face of London for ever.

October 12th 2016

Talk: The Art Of Perception- Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Speaker: Bertie Pearce BA (Hons).
Bertie Pearce returns to Woking after his first very successful visit in 2015. He is a Member of the Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star and has performed all over the world. In 2009 he became an accredited The Arts Society Speaker and has toured extensively sharing his passion for Magic, Punch and Judy, Victorian Pastimes and Charles Dickens. He is an entertainer who keeps audiences enthralled whilst imparting his knowledge on his specialist subjects.
OP art by Victor Vasarely Trompe l’oeil “Escaping Criticism”
by Pere Borrell del Caso, 1874
There is an eternal fascination with the unfathomable, the weird ambiguous state of seeing things which are not there – yet are there. Since Roman times illusions have been used in art. The stretching and distorting of perspective has been highly developed by artists to create a range of effects on the viewer. This includes Trompe L’oeil, Anamorphic art and Surrealists Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte. Op Art led by Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. Finally Camouflage, born out of war, used also during peace

November 9th 2016

Talk: The Paintings Of Hieronymus Bosch (500th Anniversary)

Speaker: Val Woodgate BA
Val is a Speaker and Guide at Tate Britain and Tate Modern and is also a Speaker for Tate on P&O cruises. She talks at many other London Galleries and for the National Trust.

She is a former member of the teaching team at the Dulwich Picture Gallery and is a script writer for the Living Paintings Trust, which brings art to the blind and partially-sighted. As
an Arts Society Speaker Val has been to Arts Societies throughout Britain and elsewhere in the world.
  Woking DFAS Lecture: The Paintings Of Hieronymus Bosch (500th Anniversary)
Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings of devils, demons and deadly sins are truly unforgettable.  
At the same time, his extraordinary treatment of religious themes can be deeply moving. His works are among the most mysterious in the whole of European art, yet if we examine them in the context of contemporary politics and cultural sources we find that not only are they perfectly understandable, but
they also provide an amazing insight into the society in which the artist lived.
Right: The Garden of Earthly Delights:
Detail of blue bird-man on a stool by
Hieronymus Bosch (c.1500)

Source: Prado Museum, Madrid

December 14th 2016

Talk: Is Christmas Still In Good Taste?

Speaker: David Philips
David Phillips studied History at Oxford, has worked for Nottingham Castle Museum and from 1982-98 talkd in Museum Studies and Art History at Manchester University. This is his first visit to The Arts Society Woking.
Lecture: Is Christmas Still In Good Taste?
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Has Christmas gone downhill? Wasn’t there a time when it was a celebration of real values? The talk forms a review of some historic and modern Christmas imagery, starting with Giotto’s painting of the first Christmas crib. Then a light-hearted historical survey of mid-winter celebrations, starting in ancient Rome, reveals that much of our traditional Christmas is much more recent than one thinks. Charles Dickens in England and Washington Irving in the USA played a major role. We look at revels and rough-house Edwardian party games, and discover a marriage chronicled in annual photos of a couple showing their tree and gifts over forty years.

Prior Year's Talks
To see the activities in previous years, click on the year; 2020 / 2019 20182017 20162015 2014 20132012 2011 2010
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