Bowral & District

Select Society

Postal Address:

ADFAS BOWRAL Inc.
PO Box 1918
Bowral NSW 2576

ADFAS Bowral & District provides for its 240 members a yearly program of special lectures reflecting  the wide cultural interests of the Southern Highlands. Lectures range through the fields of art, architecture, music, drama, dance, design, the decorative arts, garden design and much more. In addition to the eight lectures each year (six given by noted UK lecturers and two by outstanding expert Australian lecturers), trips to special exhibitions and places of interest may also be arranged.

Contact: bowral@adfas.org.au

Committee 2017

Co-Chair:
Paul Nemeth
Alison Rosenberg

Secretary:
Barbara Epworth
0466 360 044

Membership Enquiries:
Rebecca Reid
0407 065 557
rebeccareid@live.com.au

Programme for 2017

Lecture: Wednesday March 8
Sarah Deere-Jones NADFAS
Soft Angelic Whispers: the Hidden History of the English Medieval Harp

The harp has been a part of English as well as Celtic life since the 10th century. This lecture presents its author’s 20-year collection of harp images in illuminated manuscripts, wood, stone, stained glass and wall paintings and reveals a secret history in literature and household accounts of the time. We shall hear the music and songs of medieval England performed by a virtuoso on her own collection of reproduction medieval harps.

Half Interest Day: Thursday March 9
Sarah Deere-Jones: The History of Harp Technique
Two 40-minute sessions, beginning at 10.15 a.m. and 11.15 a.m. with a short coffee break

These two sessions examine the visual images of the harp in medieval history and take a closer look at depictions of the different settings, postures and finger positions. It is a hands-on and fun detective-session on assessing medieval iconography.
St Jude’s, Bowral

Lecture: Wednesday April 5
Kathleen Riley Australian Lecturer
Fred and Adele Astaire in the Age of Jazz

Kathleen Riley’s recent book on the Astaires (OUP, 2012) and an international conference she previously convened on the art and legacy of Fred Astaire (Oxford 2008) have led to her book being optioned for a film in 2016. She is interested in the science behind the legendary and apparently effortless dance skills of this brother and sister duo, and for this lecture she will look at their musical     context, the Age of Jazz and George Gershwin.

Lecture: Wednesday May 17
Dominic Riley NADFAS
Lost on the Titanic: the Making of the Great Omar Binding

When it was created in 1912 the Great Omar was the most elaborate and opulent binding ever created, embellished with more than a thousand jewels, five thousand leather onlays and a hundred square feet of gold leaf. It took a team of craftsmen more than two and a half years to make and it  went down with the Titanic on its maiden voyage (to New York) on 15 April 1912. This is the extraordinary story of the book’s making (by Sangorski and Sutcliffe) and of its resurrection.

Lecture: Wednesday June 21
Heath Lees NADFAS
Beethoven’s Deafness: How’s That Again?

With nearly all of his greatest work still in the future, Beethoven wrote in May 1802 to his  brothers Carl and Johann: ‘what a humiliation for me when someone standing next to me heard a flute in the distance and I heard nothing, or someone heard a shepherd singing and again I heard nothing.’  Heath Lees, Emeritus Professor of Music at Auckland University, whose 2015 lecture on Debussy was a highlight of the year, returns to consider the nature and extent of Beethoven’s deafness.

Lecture: Wednesday July 19
Gerald Deslandes NADFAS
L.S. Lowry and the Image of the North

Here is a very different presentation of the painter of those ‘primitive’ and ‘quaint’ stick figures in the northern English industrial landscapes in and around Salford. Lowry’s work is discussed alongside its influences and contexts, including George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) Robert Roberts’ The Classic Slum (1971), Shelagh Delany’s A Taste of Honey (1958) and contemporary photographs of Bolton, some 60s film classics, and episodes of Coronation Street.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair

Lecture: Wednesday August 16
Andrew Spira NADFAS
The Bauhaus

The Bauhaus (‘school of building’) was arguably the most innovative and influential school of design in the 20th century. It was established by Walter Gropius in 1919, along with Mies van der Rohe, in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin, and closed by the Nationalist government in 1933. Kandinsky and Paul Klee worked in its Modernist ethos, which combined the natural with industrial design, a concern for social reform and a focus on everyday domestic living. Its  influence on Australia included the architecture of Harry Seidler (notably his Australia Square Tower and the MLC Centre in Sydney) and another Bauhaus teacher, Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, who came to Australia in 1940 and taught art and design at Geelong Grammar School for 15 years.

Lecture: Wednesday September 20
Peter Warwick NADFAS
To the far side of the World: Captain James Cook and the Enlightenment

This lecture focuses on the artistic and cultural impact in Europe of Captain James Cook’s three voyages to the great South Land. Its approach is to chart the influence on the Enlightenment period (and later times) of  the drawings and paintings of Sydney Parkinson, William Hodges, John Webber, George Stubbs and Johan Zoffany.

Lecture: Wednesday October 25
Lucia Gahlin NADFAS
The Mythologising of a Pharaoh: Akhenaten, deformed or divine?

Akhenaten (1352-1336 BC) was the most controversial of all the Egyptian pharaohs, not least because he made a radical change in Egypt’s traditional polytheist religion. He introduced the worship of a single solar deity and had himself depicted androgynously. Exactly how we are to understand this enigmatic pharaoh is a puzzle even today. Efforts were made to criminalise him soon after his death, and the story of his exceptional life and unique art was not finally brought to light until the nineteenth century. Nefertiti was his Chief Royal Wife but Tutankhamen was the son of Akhenaten and one of his five sisters. So many questions!

Annual General Meeting: Wednesday 15 November 6.00 pm at Annesley

Venue and Time of Lectures

All lectures are held at the Ballroom, Annesley, Westwood Drive, Bowral and are followed by light refreshments.

Morning session: 10.30 a.m. Wednesday
Evening session: 6.00 p.m. Wednesday

Guests

Guests are always warmly welcome (a $20 fee applies): prior notice is not necessary and we do not have a waiting list. The fee for students and members of other ADFAS Societies is $10. Non-members may attend no more than three meetings per year.

Membership

Annual membership subscription is $130 (students $65) or $240 per couple.

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HISTORY OF ADFAS BOWRAL & DISTRICT

Bowral was the sixth ADFAS society to form in 1988 after Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Armidale and Newcastle. 110 members attended the inaugural lecture given by Anna Clark in March 1998. By 2002 numbers had grown to 300 and the decision was taken to divide into two groups for morning and evening lectures.

As well as many interesting lectures, study days and tours which have been enthusiastically received over the years, the Society has been aware that the focus of spreading interest in the decorative and fine arts is not the only objective of ADFAS. Support for an individual or organisation who contributes to our national artistic heritage is willingly given.

Over the years a number of gifts have been made including: a weather vane to Christ Church, Bong Bong (near Moss Vale), antique mirrors for the National Trust property Harper’s Mansion at Berrima, and a bronze statue by Brooke Maurice ‘Girl Reading’ to the Bowral Library. In 2008, as part of the Society’s 20th Anniversary commemoration, a painting by the well known Southern Highlands artist, Reg Rowe, was presented to the Bowral & District Hospital.

An annual bursary is awarded to a fulltime student at the Sturt School for Wood at Mittagong. Other philanthropic donations in support of local arts are made each year. For example, in 2008 the Society sponsored a visit by the entire Robertson Primary School to the Art Gallery of NSW.

ADFAS Bowral is twinned with the NADFAS Branch in Sheffield (UK). This allows for more interaction with the parent body from which ADFAS grew, and the source of many of our fine lecturers.

ADFAS members visiting the Southern Highlands might find time to visit the Sturt Craft Centre and the world renowned Bradman Museum .

Sturt is a vibrant centre for the teaching and production of fine craft in a serene garden setting. During its sixty years, Sturt has been home or inspiration for the best in Australian design and craft and continues to be so. Visit the Sturt Gallery, shop, gardens workshops or Cafe.

The Bradman Museum houses one of the finest collections of cricket memorabilia, artefacts and curios in Australia. Comprising a number of galleries, one screens archival films from the 1920s to 1940s; another houses an exhibition recognising ten of the world’s top sportsmen and sportswomen, and a special gallery with changing exhibitions occasionally showcases art and sculpture.

An important centre for the Arts in the Southern Highlands is the Berrima & District Arts Society (BDAS), based in Bowral. A variety of classes and workshops are held for both adults and children, covering painting in all mediums, drawing including life drawing, printmaking, and many other subjects. The Society also holds a number of open exhibitions each year.

A recent innovation is the establishment of the Southern Highlands as Australia ‘s first BookTown . With more antiquarian, general and specialty bookshops than one would expect to find, all bookshops in the area have combined to create a BOOKtrail which takes booklovers on a tour of the Southern Highlands via the bookshops in nearby towns and villages.

THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS

ADFAS members visiting the Southern Highlands might find time to visit the Sturt Craft Centre and the world renowned Bradman Museum.

Sturt is a vibrant centre for the teaching and production of fine craft in a serene garden setting. During its sixty years, Sturt has been home or inspiration for the best in Australian design and craft and continues to be so. Visit the Sturt Gallery, shop, gardens workshops or Cafe.

The Bradman Museum of Cricket houses one of the finest collections of cricket memorabilia, artefacts and curios in Australia. The Bradman collection is on display on the upper floor, while the ground floor is devoted to the history of cricket in general. Comprising a number of galleries, one screens archival films from the 1920s to 1940s; another houses an exhibition recognising ten of the world’s top sportsmen and sportswomen. A special gallery with changing exhibitions regularly showcases cricket related art and sculpture.

An important centre for the Arts in the Southern Highlands is the Berrima & District Arts Society (BDAS), based in Bowral. A variety of classes and workshops are held for both adults and children, covering painting in all mediums, drawing including life drawing, printmaking, and many other subjects. The Society also holds a number of open exhibitions each year.

A recent innovation is the establishment of the Southern Highlands as Australia’s first BookTown. With more antiquarian, general and specialty bookshops than one would expect to find, all bookshops in the area have combined to create a BOOKtrail which takes booklovers on a tour of the Southern Highlands via the bookshops in nearby towns and villages.

YOUNG ARTS

The Society has a long standing tradition of supporting young arts in the community. Currently an annual prize is given to a young (<40) Fine Arts student at the Moss Vale TAFE, while a bursary is awarded each year to a fulltime student at the Sturt School for Wood at Mittagong.

The Society is keen to extend its support to suitable practitioners of the Arts in the Southern Highland and would welcome any suggestions.

Please contact any member of the Committee.