Select Society

Postal Address:
ADFAS Tamworth Region
PO Box 1293
Tamworth 2340

ABN: 42 943 596 020


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.

Committee 2020

Sandra McMahon
M: 0438 235 657

Deputy Chair:
Kate Chapman
M: 0407 010 585

Rob Hurcum
(02) 6766 7507


Dr Steve Cunneen
M: 0458 263 463

Membership Secretary:
Ruth Blakely
M: 0412 658 666

Membership Enquiries: adfas.tamworth@gmail.com


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.

6 March 2020
A tale of two Barbaras – Barbara Hepworth and Barbara Tribe
Catherine Wallace

Famous sculptors, Barbara Hepworth and Barbara Tribe, made Cornwall their home for much of their lives. Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975) became a leading light in the modernist movement in British art, representing Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1958. She was made a Dame in 1965. Barbara Tribe (1913-2000) came from Australia. She became a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Sculptors in 1953 having made many notable portrait busts of Australian Servicemen in London during the war. The lecture looks at the similarities and differences in the work of these two pioneering 20th century female artists.

3 April 2020
A tale of two studios: Hans Heysen and Nora Heysen
John Neylon

The Hans Heysen story of the artist who opened Australians’ eyes to the beauty of the bush and inland, is well known. More recently, his daughter Nora has stepped out of the shadows of her father’s reputation to claim her own place within Australian art as an artist in her own right, to win the Archibald Prize, and as the first woman to be appointed as an Australian war artist. This lecture traces a unique story of two creative journeys separated by an independence of spirit but, as revealed by a remarkable body of recently published correspondence between father and daughter, linked by a love of art

15 May 2020
The Sculptures of the Parthenon, or How Lord Elgin Gained and Lost his Marbles
Alan Read

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 these artefacts over their time in Britain, from the original controversy over their purchase to the current debate surrounding the restitution of the marbles to the new Acropolis Museum in Athens.

12 June 2020
Phillip, the Colony, the Convicts and the Arts
Dr Stephen Cunneen

In January 1788 Governor Phillip, together with 750 convicts, about 500 marines, sailors and medics began a unique experiment in social development on an inhospitable and isolated shoreline. Despite the harsh climate, floggings and executions, a viable society slowly emerged amid the high drama of cross-cultural relationships. Under Phillip’s inspired leadership artistic expressions such as engravings, theatre, dance, music and fine arts were encouraged.

10 July 2020
Dress Detective:  Miss Fisher’s Wardrobe Revealed
Kate Strasdin

The phenomenal success of the Miss Fisher’s Mysteries TV series had a great deal to do with a glamourous protagonist and the aesthetic of 1920’s Melbourne. This lecture looks at fashions in the 1920s and the designers who were influencing style and developments that were changing the way people thought about clothes. It is also a look behind the scenes, creating Phryne Fisher’s world and the flapper style so synonymous with the decade. It was a period that began to embrace sportswear, leisurewear, shortened hems and outrageous parties. The masculine wardrobe was changing too. 

14 August 2020
Packing Up the Nation
Dr Caroline Shenton
Venue: Tamworth Regional Gallery

This is the gripping and sometimes hilarious story of how a band of heroic curators and eccentric custodians saved Britain’s national heritage during World War II. As Hitler’s forces gathered on the other side of the Channel, men and women from London’s national museums, galleries and archives forged extraordinary plans to evacuate their collections to safety. Utilising country houses from Buckinghamshire to Cumbria, tube tunnels, Welsh mines and Wiltshire quarries, a dedicated team of unlikely heroes packed up their greatest treasures in a race against time during the sweltering summer of 1939, dispatching them throughout the country in a series of secret wartime adventures.

11 September 2020
The Amadeus Myth: Mozart and his World – Culture and Society in Late 18th Century Vienna
Sandy Burnett

Classical music reached a peak of perfection in Vienna during the last three decades of the 18th century, an era in which every household worth its salt had a Kapelle or band of musicians to keep everyone entertained. The refined discourse of the string quartet was held to be the highest form of musical art; the elegant interplay of its various string instruments likened by Goethe to “four intelligent people conversing”. This lecture examines the perfect storm of circumstances that made this era possible.

16 October 2020
Urban Noir: Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’
Dr Kathy McLaughlan

Edward Hopper’s paintings of urban life are typically characterised by a sense of loneliness and alienation. The most celebrated is ‘Nighthawks’ which depicts three men and a woman gathered in a brightly illuminated restaurant in New York. We are given few clues to the identity of these people. It is the inexplicable quality of this scene that has made it so intriguing and has turned ‘Nighthawks’ into one of the iconic images of 20th century urban life. The lecture considers the background to this masterpiece and offers possible reasons for its lasting fascination.

13 November 2020
“Telling our Stories” Images and Ideas in Three Waves of Australian Film
Dr Karen Pearlman

Australian film rose to the world’s attention as a distinctive cinema in the 1970s and early 80s with a series of beautifully shot and performed period dramas such as Picnic at Hanging Rock, My Brilliant Career, and Breaker Morant. These films created a lyrical and bittersweet image of Australia for world audiences. A decade later “The Glitter Cycle”, created a very different image, this one covered in sequins. Strictly Ballroom, Muriel’s Wedding and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert painted Australia as rambunctious and gleefully spectacular with stories of individuals prepared to overthrow colonial etiquette and dance the night away. We are now experiencing a new wave of attention from local and international critics and audiences for the distinctive work of Indigenous filmmakers. This lecture will look at examples from these three ‘waves’ of Australian Cinema and consider the different ways our film industry tells ‘our stories’ and projects an image of Australia to the world.


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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