Sydney (Paddington)

Select Society

ADFAS Sydney are very proud of being the oldest society in Australia. In 2017 we are looking forward to a very interesting series of 6 International lectures, 2 lectures by Australian experts and 3 full Special Interest Days.

Executive 2017

Lavinia Montgomery
Ph: (02) 9331 3640

Vice Chairman & Treasurer:
Andrew McWhinnie
Ph: (02) 9315 8532

Secretary/Membership Secretary:
Sarah Burns
104/2 Langley Avenue
Cremorne NSW 2090
Ph: (02) 9953 1244

Programme for 2017

Thursday 2nd March
Families at War
Paul Atterbury

In 2014 Paul Atterbury wrote a book that told the story of the First World War through the experiences of one hundred families. These stories were personal, hitherto unrecorded and generally known only within the family circle. They covered the experiences of officers and other ranks from all services, at war in many campaigns and countries, at home and abroad, and included men and women from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Germany. In the process, many family secrets were revealed, offering a valuable insight into the broad experience of war and the impact of death, destruction and survival. In this talk, Paul revisits a number of those who took part, and tells their stories via memories, photographs and objects saved from the conflict that are treasured by the families as their vital and personal connections to their past.

Thursday 6th April
Carrick Hill:  A Collection to Live In
Richard Heathcote AUST

Richard is a graduate of The Arts Council of Great Britain. He researches, writes and broadcasts about garden history. Carrick Hill was created in the mid 1930’s and has the most significant collection of British mordern art in this country, along with major works by French artists such as Gaugin and Boudin.

Thursday 11th May
The Tiger in Asian Art
Zara Fleming NADFAS

Intriguing and beautiful, tigers are some of the most awe-inspiring and mysterious creatures on earth. Feared and revered in equal measures, they have inspired countless legends, beliefs and works of art.  This lecture explores the significance of the tiger as a symbol of power and protection in its Asian homeland, illustrated by a diverse range of art and artefacts.  The tiger is seen in early Chinese bronzes, Japanese netsukes, Indian paintings, Tibetan rugs and other Asian works of art.  It will also comment on the current situation of the tiger and how this magnificent animal now faces the threat of extinction. Zara co-curated “The Tiger in Asian Art” for Asia House in 2010.

Friday 12th May – Interest Day
Buddhism: The Sacred Art of Tibet
Bhutan: Kingdom of The Thunder Dragon
Zara Fleming NADFAS

Isolated from the outside world for centuries, Tibet is home to a rich artistic tradition inspired by the teachings of Buddhism.  Buddhism began in India during the 5th century BCE and over the centuries developed into three distinct paths – the Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana.  Both the Mahayana and the Vajrayana introduced an extraordinary system of visual imagery and it was these two traditions that permeated Tibet from the 7th century onwards. This lecture explores the wealth of this sacred artistic tradition – and explains how the paintings and sculptures are created, what they are used for and explores some of the stylistic characteristics over the centuries.

Zara will also give a general introduction to the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, known by its inhabitants as Druk Yul or land of the Thunder Dragon. This is a reference to the Drukpa tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism that permeates every aspect of Bhutanese life.  This lecture explores the history, art and culture of this extraordinary country, which for centuries has preserved its traditional Buddhist values.

Thursday 15th June
South East Asia: From Borobodur to Angkor
Professor Adrian Vickers AUST

Adrian works at the University of Sydney where he holds a personal chair in South East Asian Studies. This lecture is about the way SE Asia took Hindu and Buddhist ideas from India and created their own distinctive styles of temple building, sculpture and relief carving and highlights the importance of water as a link between art, religion and rice production.

Thursday 6th July
Reflection & Illusion:  The Jan Van Eyck & His Contemporaries
Dr Sophie Oosterwijk NADFAS

Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfi Portrait (1434) in the National Gallery in London is justly famous. Although the identity of the portrayed couple remains an enigma, the painting with its convincingly rendered textures is a masterpiece of seeming realism, especially the clever addition of a convex mirror and the detailed reflections in it. This sense of realism was the hallmark of Van Eyck’s art, for which he has been highly admired over the centuries. This lecture focuses on the illusion of realism in the art of Jan van Eyck and his contemporaries, including the play with mirrors and reflections in the works of other Early Netherlandish artists inspired by Van Eyck. You may expect to be dazzled by his virtuosity in oil paint.

Friday 7th July – Interest Day
True to Life?  Dutch Genre Painting in Vermeer’s Golden Age
Dr Sophie Oosterwijk NADFAS

This interest day is a combination of themes discussed in the lectures ‘Home Sweet Home’ and ‘Wine, Women and Song’: together they address the subject of apparent realism in Dutch painting.

On the surface, seventeenth-century society in the Dutch Republic might strike modern viewers as staunchly calvinistic, especially in portraits of merchants and dignitaries with their wives, all in stern black outfits and stiff white collars. Nonetheless, there was clearly another side to society, as genre paintings can reveal to us. Genre paintings are often described simply as scenes of everyday life, but there is usually more to them than that. Whereas scenes in the work of Johannes Vermeer may seem above reproach with their sense of respectibility and even serenity, he did work in the same context as his contemporaries Pieter de Hooch, Jan Steen and Gabriel Metsu, to name but a few.

Thursday 10th August
Tantrums & Tiaras:  Backstage at The Royal Opera House
Nigel Bates NADFAS

We take a look at the life backstage at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London and the tribulations and triumphs of working with the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet companies.  Simply putting on the performances is not enough – there has to be encouragement for the audience to spend quite large amounts of money to attend a performance.  We look at the way artistic inspirations, the people involved and the unique building all function together to create world-class opera and ballet in a unique environment.

Thursday 7th September
A Woman Artist Looks at Women Painters
Ghislaine Howard NADFAS

Is there a distinctive quality to paintings made by women? Looking at works by both men and women of the same subject, painted at the same periods of history, we will have the opportunity to ponder on what it is to experience the world through a woman’s eyes. This is guaranteed to surprise as so many fabulous women painters are still relatively little known today, including of course such wonderful Australian artists as Margaret Olley, Margaret Preston, Thea Proctor and Grace Cossington Smith. Guaranteed to be of interest to the male members of the audience as well!

Friday 8th September – Interest Day
A Marriage Made in Heaven: Drawing & Painting
Ghislaine Howard NADFAS

An opportunity to explore the magical and mysterious marriage of drawing and painting. By seeing how painting and drawing work together in a dramatic dialogue of line, colour and texture, Ghislaine will offer a ‘toolkit’ that will enable us to unlock the mysteries and pleasures of works of art anywhere, in any place.  This is a very interesting and useful insight into looking at paintings.

Thursday 5th October
An Ideal Partnership – Lutyens & Jekyll
James Bolt NADFAS

The last two decades of the nineteenth century reverberated with the row amongst gardeners and architects. At a stroke, the problem was solved by the partnership between Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens, so that a house by Lutyens with a garden by Jekyll became an Edwardian ideal. Together they designed gardens with a strong architectural background, softened by luxuriant planting in the natural style advocated by Robinson. Their partnership thrived in the brash, new-moneyed Edwardian era, but the First World War ended that golden afternoon and as Lutyens became distracted by the creation of New Delhi and Miss Jekyll, almost blind, became more and more reluctant to leave Munstead Wood, so the gardens they designed together were fewer and further between.


The annual membership subscription is $145, AFTER 1 July $80.00

Lectures are held upstairs at the Paddington-Woollahra RSL at 12 noon and 6.30pm.
Sandwiches and wine are served after each lecture.

The Interest Days are held at the Royal Sydney Golf Club, Kent Road,  Rose Bay from 10am until 3pm.  Morning tea and lunch are included.  Fee: $80.00 for members, $90.00 for guests.

Guests are most welcome at all lectures.  The fee for guests is $25.00 per lecture.

The date of the annual General Meeting is to be confirmed.

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