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Postal Address:

ADFAS Launceston
PO Box 445

ADFAS Launceston is a vibrant society and welcomes members and guests to attend our 2018 lecture program. We will present eight stimulating illustrated lectures given by six overseas and two Australian world-class lecturers chosen for their communication skills and expert knowledge in their fields. All lectures are beautifully illustrated and our speakers’ enthusiasm for their topics is infectious.  Our friendly members all have one thing in common – an interest in learning more about a wide diversity of the arts, ranging through fine arts, history, photography, literature and music.  All lectures are held in the Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre, University of Tasmania Newnham Campus at 6.30pm.  Please be seated by 6.15pm

Lectures are followed by a convivial gathering with a glass of wine and sandwiches.


New members are always welcome. Contact:

Contacts 2018

Jeanette Gatenby
Tel:  0438 070 156

Membership Secretary:

Annabel Tyson
Tel: 0429 311 874


Programme for 2018

Elephants and Archbishops: Matthew Parker and his Medieval Manuscripts
Tuesday 27th February 
Dr Christopher de Hamel

For sixteen years Dr de Hamal was curator of one of the world’s finest collections of illuminated manuscripts, the Parker Library in Cambridge, assembled by an Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker (1504-1575).  Dr de Hamel brings us an insider’s perspective of these treasures, which include the sixth-century Gospels of Saint Augustine, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the finest Chaucer in England and letters by Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.

The Friths of Tasmania
Tuesday 10 April
Mr Gavin Fry

The poignant photographs of Truganini and her clan are among the best-known images from colonial Australia.  Less well known is the story of the photographers, Henry Albert Frith and his sister Letitia Davidson, photographic and artistic pioneers in Australia.  Working in both Hobart and Launceston in the 19
th century, they captured some of the earliest images of the people and landscapes of Tasmania.

‘Mad Tracey from Margate’ – the work of Tracey Emin
Tuesday 8th May
Ms Rosalind Whyte

With her controversial work My Bed (1999), Tracey Emin gained fame and notoriety as the enfant terrible of the Young British Artists, and since earned fortune and criticism in virtually equal measure.  Ms Whyte will introduce the wide-ranging and varied body of Emin’s work, and discuss the factors underpinning the notoriety and antagonism that Emin’s body of work has generated.

Special Interest Half Day
Wednesday 9 May
From Corot to Monet – Developments in French Landscape Painting
Rosalind Whyte

This separately ticketed event of two lectures will be held in a convivial private venue and includes morning tea, light lunch and wine.  Rosalind Whyte will explore the story of French landscape painting, from its lowly beginnings to its now-lauded place in the art world.  Once considered an unworthy subject of paintings, unless it included an historical element, it evolved to the depiction of the hard realism of rural life, then culminated in the highly popular landscapes of the Impressionists. Rosalind Whyte has a Masters degree from Birkbeck College, University of London as well as a Masters in Art History from Goldsmiths’ College, University of London.  She is a guide and lecturer at Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the Royal Academy.

Cost $60.  Places are limited. Non-members are welcome. Bookings and prepayment required. Contact

Ruling From Behind the Yellow Silk Screen – the Dowager Empress Cixi (1835 – 1908)
Tuesday 10 July
Mr David Rosier

The Dowager Empress Cixi was one of the most important women in 19th century China. Rising from obscure beginnings, she was later portrayed as a cruel and calculating megalomaniac who hated foreigners. Through recently available Imperial records, David Rosier presents a balanced insight into her power and passions, focusing on her efforts to understand Western culture, its politics and the role of women.  

The Genius of Antonio Stradivari
Tuesday 14th August
Mr Toby Faber

Two hundred and fifty years after Stradivari’s death, his violins and cellos remain the most highly prized instruments in the world.  Toby Faber explores the mystery about why no other violin-maker has been able to match Stradivari’s genius, by following some of Stradivari’s instruments from his workshop to the present day, illustrating his lecture with images of violins, key individuals and locations in Vienna and New York, and including short musical recordings.

‘Who Done It?’  Hitchcock: Master of Suspense
Tuesday 4th September
Mr John Francis

Alfred Hitchcock, film director and ‘the master of darkness’, made over fifty feature films where innocent people are often caught up in circumstances beyond their control. His Catholic upbringing and uneasy relationship with femininity will be discussed in his early work of the Silent Era. London based dramas, Blackmail (1929) and Dial M for Murder (1954) will be closely analysed. After moving to Hollywood, Hitchcock created several masterpieces of cinema including Vertigo (1958) and Psycho (1960). Although often regarded as a skilled entertainer, cinema critics have argued that Hitchcock’s films should be regarded as artistic masterworks. He remains by far the most studied film director of all time.

Sinner or Saint? The Changing Image of Mary Magdalene
Tuesday 16th October  
Dr Sophie Oosterwijk

Who was Mary Magdalene?  Western artists produced a bewildering variety of depictions of the saint, and eventually the historical figure who witnessed the Crucifixion has become buried, hiding in layers of later interpretations.  Dr Oosterwijk, a popular lecturer with Launceston ADFAS audiences, explains the fascinating stories and often startling depictions in Western art of this intriguing and much maligned saint.

‘Those Mitford Girls!’
Tuesday 13th November
Ms Susannah Fullerton

Always well-received by Launceston ADFAS audiences, Ms Susannah Fullerton returns to present this lecture on the Mitford sisters. The aristocratic Mitford sisters were writers and socialites, biographers and essayists. Jessica, who wrote Hons and Rebels and The American Way of Death, was a communist and human rights activist. Unity was a Nazi sympathiser. Nancy’s Love in a Cold Climate characters had a reckless upper-class Bohemianism and Diana became the most hated woman in Britain during World War II. Deborah became a writer and married a Duke.


All lectures are held in the Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre, University of Tasmania Newnham Campus at 6.30pm.  Please be seated by 6.15pm

Who Can Join?

Anyone with an interest in the arts is very welcome.  No prior knowledge of the arts is needed.  

To join ADFAS Launceston, or for any enquiries, please email us or contact our Chair:  Jeanette Gatenby on 0438 070 156 or Membership Secretary:  Annabel Tyson on 0429 311 874

Why Join ADFAS?

  • To learn more about the arts in a friendly, welcoming environment
  • To meet people with interests in the arts
  • To enjoy cultural and social opportunities
  • To receive our annual national fine arts magazine ArtLife
  • To have one Guest Pass to host a friend for one lecture in the year.
  • To support local young artists through our Young Arts Program
  • To attend our optional Special Interest half day event in May (this is a separately ticketed event to be held at a private venue)

There is a once only joining fee of $25 and the subscription is $160.


Visitors are most welcome to attend. Please email to arrange your attendance. We regret that guests may attend no more than three lectures per year.

Cost for guests is $30.00 per lecture and this includes refreshments after the lecture.

ADFAS Launceston and Young Arts 

The object of our Young Arts Program is to inspire young people with an enthusiasm for the Arts.  As well as direct donations from ADFAS members, we conduct raffles and organise special functions to raise money for this Program.  We offer opportunities for young people under the age of 22 years, who wish to pursue arts-related projects in areas such as fine arts, literature, music, photography and performing arts.  Preference will be given to projects benefiting a group, rather than an individual and to projects that do not have the capacity to attract institutional funding.

In 2017 we supported the Strings on the Move Primary School Program with a six-week introductory strings program with children at Invermay Primary School.

For further details, contact the ADFAS Young Arts Coordinator Dianne Deegan at