ADFAS Geelong, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017, will deliver a fully online program for the year of 2021.  This is a temporary solution in response to the threat to safety of our membership with Covid 19 virus conditions prevailing worldwide at the time the program was prepared.
The first seven months of the year, January through to July will be overseas lectures from lecturers in Britain, and from August to December Australian lecturers will present the program.  There will be twelve lectures in all.
Access to the online lectures will be provided via email link to subscribed members email address.
There will be a new lecture each month accessible for the whole month.

Committee 2021

Sally Birrell Ph: 0427 342 213

Cathy Stewart
Ph: 0433 288 266


Gianna Varasdi
Ph: 0419 543 506

Membership Enquiries: Gianna Varasdi Email:


Painting the Spanish Light: Joaquin Sorolla

One of the most extraordinary Spanish artists from Valencia; Joaquin Sorolla has become better known more recently. He lived from 1863 to 1923 and created a world full of light and colour which delights the senses. Sometimes a social painter he was more concerned with capturing light falling on bodies and sea-scapes and his wonderful technique will be considered in this colourful lecture.

Jacqueline Cockburn
Jacqueline is Managing Director of Art and Culture Andalucía. She runs residential courses in Andalucía, Southern Spain in the art and culture of the region. Her specialist field is Spanish Art.

Moorish Architecture: The Legacy of a Vanished Kingdom

The Alhambra of Granada, the Great Mosque of Cordoba and the Alcázar of Seville are the three most impressive monuments to the architectural creativity of the Moors in Spain, but there are many other examples worthy of mention too. The classical origins that influenced the Moorish style are less well known, but fascinating to explore.

Ian Cockburn
Art historian with a BA in Medieval Spanish Art History, Ian is a specialist in the nearly 800 years of Moorish occupation and Christian reconquest of medieval Iberia.

The Golden Age of Venetian Glass

We will look at the stylistic development of glass produced in Venice from the late 15th century to the late 17th century, seen through   actual objects and through paintings, the early history of glassmaking in Venice, the material itself and the techniques involved in forming and decorating the pieces. We will discuss the fashion for richly coloured and enamelled glass, and the sources of inspiration behind them.

Jane Gardiner
Jane Gardiner has an MA History of Art from the University of London. She trained at the Victoria and Albert Museum and continues to lecture there. Jane was a senior Lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art for 17 years, becoming a Deputy Director of Sotheby’s, UK.

The Story of the Crystal Palace

Originally designed for the Great Exhibition of 1851, then transported to Sydenham and rebuilt and enlarged, the Crystal Palace was Joseph Paxton’s masterpiece, and was the largest iron and glass building ever constructed. It dominated the south London skyline for over 80 years until its tragic destruction by fire in 1936. This is the    history both of the Great Exhibition and the building that housed it, and the on-going artistic legacy of both.

Ian Gledhill
Ian Gledhill has designed underground railways as an engineer for London Transport, and appeared in pantomime with Julian Clary. In between he has worked in travel and tourism, music publishing, television, and especially the theatre.

Portraits in Stone: the Great Cathedrals of Medieval England

Over a time span of five hundred years the great medieval cathedrals of England were built. This period marks the greatest single architectural achievement in English history. From Durham to Gloucester, the lecture follows the evolution of cathedral building with particular reference to structural and aesthetic details together with some of the fascinating figures and events behind them. 

Mark Cottle
Born on the Isles of Scilly and educated at Truro School, Cornwall, and Birmingham University, Mark’s career has been spent in education and training at home and abroad. He has lectured in Medieval and Tudor history, and on Anglo Saxon and medieval England.

The Age of Jazz

Sandy Burnett’s lecture covers the early years of jazz from its very beginnings and the first ever recordings made just over a century ago through to the start of the Second World War. His illustrations range from early pre-impressions by Maurice Ravel and others through to classics by Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and the dawn of the Swing Era. 

Sandy Burnett
Sandy enjoys a career that embraces broadcasting, conducting, playing double bass and communicating his passion for music. He is a highly sought-after double bassist on the London jazz scene.

The Sculptures of the Parthenon

In the two centuries since they were removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin, the meaning and significance of the ‘Elgin Marbles’ has changed dramatically. From architectural decoration to disputed cultural objects this lecture looks at the response to them over their time in Britain, from the original controversy over their purchase to the current debate surrounding the restitution to Athens.

Alan Read
Alan holds a master’s and first class honours degree in History of Art from Birkbeck College, London. He is a gallery guide at Tate Britain, Tate Modern, and the National Portrait Gallery.

The Timor Trio

Australia has had a long and complex involvement with the former Dutch colony of Timor. Three very different artists worked there, bringing back images of conflict and Australian service. Eric Thake ventured to Timor on behalf of the RAAF in 1945, to be followed a generation later by Rick Amor and Wendy Sharpe. They all produced work at once very personal, but also telling of Australia’s role in conflict.

Gavin Fry
Gavin Fry has written books on Australian Art and History plus exhibition and auction catalogs. He undertook an art training in the mid-1960s, and has returned to painting after 40 years concentrating on museum work and writing.

Australian Landscape Artists

It is often said that the Australian landscape – its colours, the intensity of light, the strange forms of its mountains and flora – posed unique problems for artists trained in a European tradition. But the history of Australian landscape painting is far more complex. 

Nick Gordon
Nick Gordon is an artist who works across painting, sculpture and photography. His work focuses on finding harmonies among the disparate elements of urbanism, from the microchip to music, traffic and the various      techniques used to map urban spaces past and present.


Blooming Marvels: The Global Art History of Flowers

This lecture travels the world in search of exquisite and compelling flowers. Along the way there will be drugs,   erotica, jail, science, secret messages, economics, war, extinction and Instagram, Monet’s garden and Van Gogh’s sunflowers. 

Sam Bowker
Sam Bowker is a lecturer in art history and visual culture at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Australia.        He completed his PhD at the Australian National University in 2011 and has published on aspects of khayamiya since 2012.

Literary England-my top 10 places to visit

England is rich in literary connections – of authors, of sites and of geographical area. There’s a library, houses large and small, churches, a graveyard and an ancient charitable institution. I will take you from the gentle countryside of southern England, up to more dramatic northern landscapes.

Susannah Fullerton
Susannah brings to life the lives and writings of great writers in her fascinating video talks, entertaining Zoom and live talks, popular books and Literary Readers’ Guides. She is Australia’s most requested leader of literary tours to the UK, Italy, Ireland, USA and Europe

More English than the English – Three Treasure House Libraries

Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, Lord Fairhaven and Sir Paul Getty had many things in common. They were all immensely rich, all immigrants, and all great book collectors, creating remarkable libraries. In this lecture, Shane Carmody will open the doors to these great collections, telling the stories of their creators and many of the treasures they contain.

Shane Carmody
Shane Carmody has a great love of libraries and archives. He has worked for the National Archives, the State Library of Victoria and the University of Melbourne Library. He is widely published on the history of Libraries and collections.


All lectures will be delivered on-line and will be available for the entire month.


Membership Fee: $140 per person $25 Joining fee


Guests are welcome but must be registered beforehand by telephoning the Membership Secretary Gianna Varasdi on 0419543506

All Membership Enquiries

Gianna Varasdi on 0419543506

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