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Postal Address:

ADFAS Rockhampton
PO Box 8306
Rockhampton QLD 4700

ABN 549 638 445 18

The Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society Rockhampton celebrates 25 years of unique activities in the area in 2020.  ADFAS Rockhampton welcomes all to join as members or visit our lectures and events.  In 2020 the Society will bring six overseas The Arts Society lecturers, two Australian experts and a local speaker to the area to deliver a beautifully illustrated monthly presentation on any and every aspect of the Arts in the broadest sense.  Each year we hold one optional Half Interest Day which provides an informal, extended opportunity to explore the selected topic in detail.  All lectures provide an in depth exploration of the topic by enthusiastic professional speakers who aim to inform and entertain and take the time to answer your questions.

This is the society of choice for those who wish to expand their knowledge of the Arts in an informal, friendly setting and also has much to offer those planning overseas trips, artists seeking inspiration and the merely curious.  The monthly presentations afford those present the opportunity to travel the world and peer into collections and galleries often off the beaten track and private.  Each lecture is followed by our famous convivial morning teas. 

Besides our monthly lectures, members benefit from excursions, gallery visits and opportunities to advance the local Arts scene.  ADFAS Rockhampton members are involved in Arts in the Community projects: Young Arts and projects to record our local Schools of the Arts and Churches.  Members enjoy access to  ADFAS Travel tours with specialist guides, a guest pass to introduce a friend for free at any lecture in 2019, reduced rate attendance at other ADFAS society lectures around Australia and overseas,  excursions, the opportunity to subscribe to UK The Arts Society quarterly journal and, most importantly, ‘Knowledge through Enjoyment’.

For those not sure about joining ADFAS Rockhampton we provide two free opportunities each year to learn more about the society: in February we hold our Programme Launch event and then at the end of the year our Annual General Meeting is followed by a presentation from a local speaker and a festive morning tea to round out the year. With so much on offer right on your doorstep, why not come along and join us? 

Committee 2020

Lyn Harrower
Ph: 0417 762 563

Vice Chairman:
Sarah McCosker

Secretary /Membership Secretary:
Janet Gentle
Ph: 0428 267 655


Membership Enquiries:
or contact Janet Gentle –

Programme for 2020

10.30 am Saturday Morning, 1st Floor (Lift), Centacare, 16 Bolsover Street, Rockhampton.
* unless otherwise noted in the programme below (nb September lecture held in Yeppoon)

22 February 2020
2020 Programme Launch

An opportunity for non-members and members to get together and meet each other and the 2020 ADFAS Rockhampton Committee.  Find out about the 2020 lecture programme, what ADFAS Rockhampton provides, be entertained and enjoy a delicious morning tea.  Free for all to attend.

Local Speaker: Mr Russell Eadie

Russell Eadie is a Cert III Visual Arts student at CQU and was the second worthy winner in 2019 of our ADFAS Rockhampton Visual Arts Student Prize for his recognized achievements and dedication to his art.  Russell’s father was a fossicker and this rubbed off on the young Russell whose early interest in stones developed into a lapidary hobby which in turn led him to his studies in jewellery making.  Russell will talk about his artistic journey and show his award winning work.

14 March 2020
Desert Island Antiques
Mr Paul Atterbury (UK)

If Paul Atterbury were to be cast away alone on a deserted island which eight antiques would he take?  A difficult proposition for most but especially for a lifelong collector, curator and Antiques Roadshow expert of 29 years standing.  Come along and, through Paul’s eight chosen objects, learn about his life, experiences, memories, passions, opinions and Antiques Roadshow escapades which all inform his choice.  This will be a more personal lecture.

Paul Atterbury is no stranger to Rockhampton, having visited several times and he is well known as an expert on Antiques Roadshow (BBC).  He specialises in Art and Architecture and the design of the 19th and 20th centuries.  He lives in Dorset, UK, with Chrissie his wife.

4 April 2020 – CANCELLED
The European Quest for the Great South Land: the Spanish Lake 1520-1606
Mr Paul Brunton (AU)

The European discovery of Australia was an unintended consequence of the quest for the legendary Great South Land – a land believed to exist from Classical times, needed to balance the lands to the north and save Earth from toppling over, fabled to be a place of great wealth. The Spanish inaugurated the quest following Ferdinand Magellan’s (c.1480-1521) Pacific voyage of 1520-21 in search of riches to be found and souls to be saved. Alvaro de Mendaña (1542 -1595) thought he had struck gold in 1568 when he found the Solomon Islands but these could not be located again. So did Pedro Fernandez de Quiros (1563?- 1615) when he found Vanuatu in 1606. Then Luis Vaez de Torres (flourished 1605-1607) saw Australia in 1606 when he sailed through the strait which would bear his name but this information was effectively lost.

Paul Brunton was Senior Curator, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales till November 2012. He has worked with the Mitchell Library’s Australiana collections since 1973 and was Curator of Manuscripts from 1986 to 2001.  He has published on archives administration and on various aspects of the State Library’s collection. He was President of the Australian Society of Archivists, 1991-1993. He has published annotated works on Joseph Bank’s Endeavour journal, Matthew Flinder’s letters, Franklin’s diaries and is currently preparing a work on William Bligh’s HMS Bounty journal and logbook.  Paul has also curated numerous exhibitions at the NSW State Library.  In 2003, he was awarded the Centenary of Federation medal for services to libraries.  Paul has lectured to ADFAS societies regularly for many years.

30 May 2020 – CANCELLED
Mosaics in the Northern Adriatic: Power, Beauty and Education
Ms Nirvana Romell (UK)

The Adriatic is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination and this lecture provides a timely opportunity to learn about the area in greater depth via the many mosaics preserved in the area.  The Adriatic has always been at the crossroads of history and this is reflected in the mosaics Nirvana will discuss: from the largest early Christian mosaic in existence hidden in Aquileia, to Poreč with one of the first depictions of a triumphant Byzantine Madonna in mosaic. Nirvana will describe these mosaics’ purpose, beauty and importance in the socio-political development of the area.

Nirvana gained a BA in the History of Art and then a MA in English Language and Literature.  She has been a freelance lecturer  in Art History for the last 17 years.  Nirvana trains gallery staff in the UK and gives tours of exhibitions.  She also conducts study tours to the Balkans, Italy, Sweden and South Africa.

20 June 2020 – CANCELLED
The Incomparables: Anna and Isadora
Mrs Robin Haig (AU)

This lecture will ‘compare and contrast’ two great women who knew one another and much admired one another’s work.  Anna Pavlova, b. 1881 in St Petersburgh, Russia, was an exquisite ballerina whose mission was to take her art – the art of Ballet – to the people of the world and travelled more widely than any other performer even to this point in history.  Pavlova was considered a genius who ‘lived to dance’ and believed the dancer should sacrifice herself to her art.  Isadora Duncan, b. 1878 in San Francisco, was an American bare-foot dancer who shocked and inspired people wherever she performed. A true Romantic, Isadora was in revolt, living a liberated life. Basically untrained Isadora developed a uniquely personal style of dancing that was to inform the development of Modern Dance.  With a shared commitment to their art, these women’s dance styles couldn’t be more different.

Robin is from Perth, Western Australia, where she received her initial ballet training.   At the age of 17 she joined a new Melbourne company, the Australian Theatre Ballet, directed by Walter Gore.   In the same year, 1955, she was awarded a scholarship by the Royal Academy of Dancing to continue her studies at the Royal Ballet School.   On graduating she entered the Royal Ballet Company, Covent Garden, touring extensively to the United States and throughout Europe and Russia.   She left the Royal Ballet in 1962 and then worked internationally as a dancer, choreographer and teacher before becoming the director of the West Australian Ballet.   Robin moved to the U.S. in 1981 where she taught History and Philosophy of Dance, Dance in the Twentieth Century and choreographed as a faculty member at the James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and the dance faculty at the University of Colorado.   Now retired she is Senior Instructor Emerita.

25 July 2020 – CANCELLED
The Summer Palaces of the Tsars: the Highlights
Dr Alexey Markhov (UK)

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. Heavily damaged during the Second World War most of the estates 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

Dr Alexey Makhrov studied art history at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg and obtained a PhD in architectural history at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in 1998. He worked as postdoctoral researcher of Russian art criticism of the nineteenth century at the University of Exeter, England, before moving to Switzerland in 2003 for his master’s degree in International History and Politics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Alexey teaches art history in Zurich and Geneva and has worked as lecturer on cultural tours to Russia and Switzerland since 1998.

29 August 2020 – CANCELLED
John Peter Russell: Australian Artist and Friend of the Impressionists
Ms Lucrezia Walker (UK)

Impressionist painter, Claude Monet, rated Russell’s work highly, and Matisse claims that Russell had taught him everything he knew about colour. Sculptor Rodin, believed that in the future Russell would be as famous as himself, Monet and Renoir. This did not turn out to be the case. However, during their lifetimes Russell was more successful than the unknown van Gogh. What reversed this situation? How do artists become famous? His extraordinary story, rarely told, is of a life devoted to adventure, love, tragedy and art and is one worth telling.

Lucrezia Walker has lectured regularly for the National Gallery, teaching six-week courses, Study Days and lunchtime lectures.  She is a regular speaker at the Royal Academy, at Tate Britain and Tate Modern, speaking to their corporate patrons both in their offices and in the exhibitions. She studied in Venice and Perugia, lived and worked in Rome, and has 20 years’ experience of leading cultural tours in major European cities. She teaches the London Art History Program for the University of North Carolina. She was Galleries Correspondent for The Tablet, and Lay Canon (Visual Arts) at St Paul’s Cathedral where she continues to serve on its Visual Arts Committee. She is the author of several books on 19th and 20th century artists and art movements.

26 September 2020
From Veneering to Marquetry
Mr Janusz K Slowikowski (UK)

This presentation explores the history, techniques and uses of veneering, inlay, parquetry and marquetry in decorating fashionable and expensive items such as cabinets, tables, mirrors and long case clocks between the period 1675 – 1730, which lay audiences may find very helpful in helping them to understand terms and techniques about which they will have often heard.  The lecture will also refer to the important contribution made during this period by foreign craftsmen, styles and techniques.

Janusz has retired from a 35 year career in Higher Education. Whilst studying for his first degree, he worked part time in an antiques shop, which he came to take over as proprietor. Such was his interest in collecting that he became known as the dealer who bought but never sold. His lectures seek to explain furniture in terms of the skills and materials employed in its design and construction and also its socio-economic significance. He has lectured on antique furniture since 1975 and has been in The Arts Society Directory since 1982. He has lectured to over 300 Arts Society/ADFAS societies including those in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, The Hague and Spain.

* 10.30am Bally Griffin Cultural Centre, St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon

24 October 2020
1 – Design Matters: the Creation of Contemporary Fine Bindings (1 hour)
Mr Dominic Riley (UK)

With the advent of the Arts and Crafts movement, book bindings became works of art in themselves.  Dominic is one of a small number of bookbinders working today who create these unique Design Bindings. This lecture shows a range of these contemporary bindings, made variously for collectors, exhibitions, competitions, libraries and the occasional Booker shortlisted author. He will show how each design grows from a response to the text and illustrations of the printed book, and explain the technical aspects of their execution. He will also bring some of his Design Bindings for people to view 

2 – Half Interest Day:

– The Whole Art of the Book (1 hour)

Why was the best paper made from the worn-out clothes of peasants? Why did leather have to be tanned outside the city walls? Why is gold leaf so thin that it is measured in atoms and cannot be touched with the hands? Why do printers have to do everything upside down and backwards? Why did gold finishers get paid more than other bookbinders despite not washing their hair? And why is the art of bookbinding itself, surely the most complex of all hand crafts, as beguiling and enchanting today as it was when it was invented on the banks of the Nile 2,000 years ago. This lecture is a ‘Through the Round Window’ for grown-ups, and tells the fascinating story of everything that makes a traditional hand bound book.

– Book Binding Demonstration/Clinic (bring a book for advice) (1 hour)

In this session Dominic will give a ‘live’ demonstration of some aspects of the art of bookbinding such as restoration techniques and tooling leather with gold leaf. The aim here is to show some of the ancient skills involved in the creation of a fine binding or the repair of an old or rare book – techniques which were once closely guarded secrets and even today are rarely seen outside the world of bookbinding societies.

In the last part of the day, participants will be invited to bring along a book of their own they may like to discuss. This could be an old curiosity which they would like to find out more about, or a treasured volume in need of repair. Dominic will offer helpful advice about how to care for such books, and give guidance for those considering having a binding restored.

Dominic Riley is an internationally renowned bookbinder, artist, lecturer and teacher. He specializes in the restoration of antiquarian books and the creation of contemporary fine bindings. He teaches his craft both in the UK and USA, across Europe and in Australia and New Zealand. His prize-winning bindings are in collections world wide, including the British Library, the V&A, the National Library of Wales, the Grolier Club in New York and the San Francisco Public Library. He is an accredited lecturer with the Arts Society, a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders and President of the Society of Bookbinders. In 2013 he won first prize — the prestigious Sir Paul Getty award — in the International Bookbinding Competition, and his winning binding was acquired by the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

28 November 2020

Annual General Meeting & Local Speaker (TBC)


10.30 am Saturday Morning

1st Floor (Lift)
16 Bolsover Street

* unless otherwise noted in the programme above ( nb September lecture held in Yeppoon)


ADFAS Rockhampton Membership/Renewal for 2020: $150 single/$145 pensioner/$280 couple: (after 14.03.20)
Early bird special: $140 single/$135 pensioner/$250couple:  (by 14.03.20)

Please complete a Membership Application Form and return with your payment. Form and Payment details on this page.

VISITORS always welcome: $25 per lecture ($15 child/students/other ADFAS members)

Payment Options:

–           Cheque/Money Order (payable to ADFAS Rockhampton Inc) to:
            ADFAS Rockhampton
            PO Box 8306
            Rockhampton QLD 4700
–           Direct Debit: 
            BSB 813 049   
            Account Number  10 000 0088
            (+ Surname/Initial to identify)
–           Cash at any event/lecture


Hon Secretary / Membership Secretary: Janet Gentle
Ph: 0428 267 655

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