Select Society

Postal Address:
ADFAS Tamworth Region
PO Box 1293
Tamworth 2340


ADFAS Tamworth provides for its members a yearly programme of illustrated lectures given by overseas and Australian lecturers chosen for their communication skills and expert knowledge in their fields.

Contact: adfas.tamworth@gmail.com

Committee 2017

Chair: Meg Larkin AM
M: 0407 255 821

Deputy Chair: Sandra McMahon
M: 0438 235 675

Secretary: Michelle Hungerford
M: 0488 496 603

Treasurer: Dr Steve Cunneen
M: 0458 263 463

Membership Secretary: Ruth Blakely
M: 0412 658 666

Programme for 2018

These events will take place at the Passchendaele Room, Tamworth War Memorial Town Hall unless otherwise indicated.
Meet at 5.45 pm for 6.00 pm start.

The Magnificence of Persia – the Art of Isfahan, Shiraz and Ancient Persepolis
Friday 2nd March 2018
Christopher Bradley B.Eng (Hons) FRGS

The greatest site from the pre-Islamic period is at Persepolis, whose bas-reliefs are a unique blend of styles from all over the Achaemenid Empire, including Egypt, Greece and India. Many Persian art forms predate the Arab conquest, but as their peak was reached within the Islamic era, religious influences are rarely completely absent. Calligraphy, geometrical patterns and Islamic architecture combined to reach unparalleled heights in the 17th century in a series of highly decorated palaces and mosques in Isfahan, at that time, one of the largest cities in the world. Throughout many centuries of occupation, it has been the respected poets who have kept the traditions of the Persian language and religion alive, particularly Sufism. Sa’di is the Persian equivalent of Shakespeare, and with his successor Hafez, both have ornate mausoleums in Shiraz.

Special Interest Half-day:
Saturday 3rd March 2018: 2 – 5pm, Tamworth Regional Gallery
The Treasures of the Silk Road
Christopher Bradley – B.Eng (Hons) FRGS

ADFAS Tamworth Region will trial a new initiative in our program for 2018. We will hold our first special interest half day. Christopher Bradley, who will be our Lecturer on Friday 2 March 2018, will provide two additional lectures on Saturday 3 March on the Treasures of the Silk Road, as outlined below.

First session: China, the East and Central Asia
Second session: Iran, the Levant and Near East

The Silk Road extended over 8,000 kms from China through Central Asia to the Mediterranean. With the Greek invasion of Alexander the Great, early Persian routes spread East towards India, until stability finally allowed the Chinese to trade silk, jade and ceramics in exchange for horses, pearls and gold. Silk was just one of the many products traded for 1,400 years, but the route also acted as a highway for beliefs, ideas, inventions and art.

Buddhism spread throughout Western China and there are wonderful paintings from the Magao caves at Dunhuang and the ‘Caves of the Thousand Buddhas’ at Bezeklik in the Flaming Mountains. Central Asia was the main link with the West where many trading cities became wealthy and important centres for the arts. Samarkand and Bukhara are the beginning of the great Islamic buildings that continue through Persia and further west. The Roman Empire was the destination of silk and all the other commodities which eventually arrived at the Mediterranean coast. Along the way of this great journey we will see traditional murals, ceramics, statues, carpets, architecture, mosaics, tile-work, rock-carvings and of course, silk itself.

There is an additional fee of $40.00 per person for the half day. Bookings are essential.

The Ballet Russes
Friday 13th April 2018
Robin Haig

In 1909, a group of Russian dancers, choreographers, composers and painters burst upon the jaded dance scene in Paris, appearing at the Theatre de Chatelet before a delighted and ecstatic audience.

Diaghilev, the Director of the Ballet Russes believed in a total theatre concept and with a bevy of talented artists he galvanised and changed history in not just dance but in music, scenic design and choreography. Pavlova, Nijinsky, Fokine, Bakst and Stravinsky became world famous and over the period of 20 years artists such as Picasso, Cocteau and Satie collaborated in an unprecedented experiment of total theatre which continued to influence and inspire.

Les Parisiennes
Friday 11th May 2018

Anne Sebba BA (Hons)

Les Parisiennes is a story about women’s lives during the dark years of Nazi occupation and beyond and includes British and American women caught in Paris as well as native born resisters who were eventually sent to camps. It also tells the story of couturiers and jewelers, some of whom flourished in wartime, as well as actors, singers, night club dancers and housewives.

The lecture opens with a magnificent circus ball held by Elsie de Wolfe at the magnificent Villa Trianon, a chateau in the grounds of the Palace of Versailles; many of the guests could not believe that war was imminent. It ends with Christian Dior’s lavish new look in 1947 as well as a perfume, Miss Dior, named after his sister Catherine, a resister, who had only just survived a prison camp and never wanted to talk about her experiences.

The Aesthetics of Traditional Japanese Architecture and Design
Friday 8th June 2018
Adrian Boddy M App Sc, B Arch, ARAIA

Traditional Japanese building materials such as fabric, timber, stone, clay, metal, fibre and fabric inform the lecture’s structure…

the plain and un-agitated, the un-calculated, the harmless, the straightforward, the natural, the innocent, the humble , the modest: where does beauty lie if not in these qualities?”  (International potter, Bernard Leach).

Architecture’s elements and precedents: paths, gateways, garden walls, framed pavilions, platforms, screens and their associated subdued lighting, broad eaves and designed garden settings are then the subjects for discussion. In all cases traditional Japanese artefacts — painting, sculpture, pottery and utilitarian objects offer a wider context.

Summer Palaces of the Tsars
Friday 13th July 2018 

Dr Alexey Makhrov

The royal estates in the environs of St Petersburg not only impress with their splendour but also give fascinating insights into the private life of the Romanovs. During the 18th century inhospitable terrain was transformed into idyllic locations in Oranienbaum, Peterhof, Strelna, Gatchina, Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk. Peter the Great, his daughter Elisabeth, Catherine the Great and their successors spared no expense in building and decorating palaces, villas and gardens. During the Second World War most of the estates were heavily damaged but have since been lovingly restored. The lecture represents the palaces and gardens in the environs of St Petersburg and gives an account of their past and present.

Great Tarts in Art: High Culture and the Oldest Profession
Friday 10th August 2018
Linda Smith MA

A mixture of art-historical analysis and scandalous anecdote, this lecture takes a generally light-hearted look at changing attitudes to sexual morality down the ages, by examining the portraits and careers of some of history’s most notorious mistresses and courtesans. It also charts the rather complex and ambiguous attitudes of art and society towards the numerous anonymous working girls at the lower end of the scale, by investigating how they have been represented in art at different times and places from the 17th to the 20th century.

Inn Insignia: The Artwork and Stories behind Peculiar Pub Signs
Friday 7th September 2018
John Ericson

Pubs and their signs are a fundamental part of our history and cultural heritage. In this colourful and entertaining lecture John shows some of the most interesting and distinctive signs before exploring the fascinating stories behind the origin of some of their peculiar names. Who could fail to be intrigued by ‘The Bucket of Blood’, the ‘Cow and Snuffers’ or even the ‘Eager Poet’ – and who on earth was ‘Blind Jack’?

Colour and Brilliance: Women Stained Glass artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement
Friday 12th October 2018
Martin Ellis MA (Hons) AGMS, FRSA

In the early years of the 20th century a new generation of young women artists emerged triumphantly into the art world. Like their Australian cousins, they were trained in the newly established public and municipal schools of art. Following the tenets of the Arts & Crafts Movement, many found a natural home in the field of stained glass – an art form deadened by the increasingly formulaic products of the large, commercial companies. They were an extraordinary generation: fiercely independent, champions of women’s rights and gender politics, suffragists and challengers of the political establishment, they also created some of the most beautiful windows of the 20th century, bringing a richness and sensitivity to the art. The talk looks in particular at the students and achievements of three centres of training and practice, in Dublin, Birmingham and London, and celebrates the work of an extraordinary generation which both enriched and changed the nature of stained glass in Britain

Duyfken – the First European Ship to visit Australia in 1606 – historic voyages and voyages in the replica
Friday 16th November 2018
Gary Wilson

Duyfken – the first European ship to visit Australia in 1606 – historic voyages and voyages in the replica. In 1606, Willem Janszoon in the jacht Duyfken made the first European contact with the continent that was to become Australia. This remarkable voyage, not well known despite its historical significance, lead to many more Dutch voyages to “New Holland” and pre-dates the much more widely known 1770 Cook voyage by 164 years. I sailed for many years as Mate & Master of the Australian built replica of this capable and seaworthy little ship, including a re-enactment of Janszoon’s voyage, and this lecture will outline the history behind the Dutch explorations and what sailing the replica has taught us – both in seamanship and in history.


Guests are most welcome
Fees: $28
Free for visiting ADFAS members


The annual membership subscription is $150 for Adult,  $125 for Pensioners and Under 30.

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