THE ARTS SOCIETY COLCHESTER
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22 March 2018Australian Art from the Convict Years to the Modern Era

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Australian Art from the Convict Years to the Modern Era Valerie Woodgate Thursday 22 March 2018

This Study Day consists of three lectures and lunch, to be held at Nayland Village Hall, Church Lane, Nayland CO6 3AT, 11.00 am - 3.00 pm on 22 March 2018. There is a car park at the hall, and behind the hall on the meadow.   The cost is £30 per person which includes coffee & biscuits and lunch. The booking form can be downloaded here.

Lecture 1.  Dreamtime, convicts and early settlers.  An examination of some indigenous works and the significance of Dreamtime symbols, and of new immigrants recording the early years of convict settlement.  Increasing immigration and artistic responses to life in the strange new continent were seen through European artistic traditions.

Lecture 2.  Australian Impressionism & the ‘Heidelberg School’.  European influence continued to dominate throughout the 19th century but with Australian artists’ growing contacts with Paris, modernism began to challenge the dominance of the ‘Victorian’ style.  Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and others produced works which are now Australian icons.

 Lecture 3.  Art after the First World War.  The Great War was a watershed in Australian and New Zealand history.  No longer subservient to Europe, artists found their own language to depict the modern world and the unique landscape and culture Down Under.  The art of indigenous artists, which responds to contemporary life while retaining many of the traditions of their ancestors, is now much admired. In the wider world, Will Longstaff, Sydney Nolan, Brett Whitely, Arthur Boyd and many others achieved international recognition.

A briefing sheet on Australian history and a bibliography can be downloaded here.

Valerie Woodgate is a lecturer and guide in Tate Britain and Tate Modern, and for Tate on cruises. She also lectures in other major galleries, including the Dulwich Picture Gallery, and on religious art in churches and cathedrals.   She is a script-writer for the Living Paintings Trust (art for the blind and partially-sighted).