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Postal Address:

ADFAS Launceston
PO Box 445


ABN:  16 630 263 813

ADFAS Launceston is a vibrant society presenting eight stimulating illustrated lectures given by six overseas and two Australian world-class lecturers as well as organising an active Young Arts program.

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.  We also want to provide opportunities for young people in our local community to develop a similar interest in the Arts.

New members are always welcome.    

For details on this page about why you might consider joining ADFAS, attending as a visitor or renewing membership please follow this link: Membership Enquiries

For information on this page about the Young Arts activities, including a link to the funding guidelines and an application form, please follow this link:  Young Arts Program

Information on our Lectures and Programme is just below.

If you have any other queries please email:




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

A convivial gathering, at which a complimentary glass of wine and sandwiches are offered, follows each lecture.

Please follow this link for Venue information.


New members are always welcome. Contact:

Contacts 2019

Chairman: Jacqueline Hartnett 0407 448 919

Vice Chairman: Annabel Tyson 0429 311 874

Secretary: Patricia Roberts 0417 544 867

Treasurer: Chris Bishop 0400 546 430

Membership Secretary: Annabel Tyson 0429 311 874

Programme for 2018

Tuesday 26 February 2019

The Shock of the Old; Discovering Britain’s Ice Age Cave Art


Paul Bahn studied archaeology at the University of Cambridge and completed his PhD in 1979 on the prehistory of the French Pyrenees. He has held postdoctoral fellowships at Liverpool and London, plus a J. Paul Getty postdoctoral fellowship in the History of Art and the Humanities. For eight years in the 1990s Paul was Vice-President of the Australian Rock Art Association.

This lecture is an account of his search in 2003 for, and discovery of, Britain’s first Ice Age cave art at Creswell Crags in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Paul says his “30-year dream was fulfilled in a single morning!” The engravings and bas-relief discovered have been dated to around 13,000 years ago and are by far the oldest known artistic depictions in the country.

Tuesday 9 April

Four Women: Australian Artists at the Venice Biennale


First presented in 1895, the Venice Biennale is the oldest and still perhaps the most prestigious of the many international contemporary art exhibitions across the globe.

This lecture examines the last three artists who have been shown in the official Australian Pavilion, and the artist selected for the Biennale commencing in May 2019. They are Simryn Gill (2013), Fiona Hall (2015), Tracey Moffatt (2017) and Angelica Mesiti (2019).

As well as tracing the sophisticated practices of these four outstanding contemporary artists, Julie Ewington asks what is the significance and the outcome of this hotly-contested opportunity in Venice? What does it mean to ‘represent’ one’s country there? What is the significance that the most recently selected artists are women?

Tuesday 7 May

Gold of the Gods: Treasures of South America and the Search for El Dorado


Chloe Sayer is a scholar, author and curator specialising in the art and culture of Latin America. In 2016 the Mexican Government awarded her the prestigious Ohtli Medal in recognition of her long-standing contribution and commitment to Mexican culture.

The ancient goldsmiths of Peru and Colombia produced spectacular golden treasures which lured Spanish conquistadors deep into Peru and Columbia following the dream of El Dorado. The dream of finding ‘the Golden One’ kept European explorers fascinated for over two centuries. Most of the golden treasures that the Spaniards found were melted down for bullion. Those that survive are great works of sacred art – the awe-inspiring and technically sophisticated creations of once-great cultures.

Tuesday 9 July

The Honourable East India Company: East-West trade 1600-1800, Chinese Export and Chinoiserie

Vivienne LAWES

Vivienne Lawes is a lecturer, curator and author. She has a BA(Hons) in History/History of Art from York University and an MA in Fine and Decorative Art at Sotheby’s Institute, London. She leads the Modern and Contemporary Unit of the East Asian Art Semester Programme at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and teaches the History of Western Design at the City & Guilds of London Art School.

This lecture explores the way in which the East India Company developed its methods of trade and facilitated the increasingly sophisticated and profound exchange of ideas between East and West. It focuses on textile design as the vehicle for this analysis, but also includes variables such as wallpaper, porcelain and furniture, as well as the vast commercial trade in spices and tea.

Tuesday 13 August

The Wilton Diptych Enigma

Leslie PRIMO

Leslie Primo holds a BA in Art History and an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London. He lectures at London’s National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. He also lectures at the City Literary Institute and has presented a series of talks at the National Maritime Museum and the Courtauld Institute.

Ever wondered how galleries and curators deal with pictures that have no identifiable makers, or definitive origins and have no obvious narrative, and thus no title? This lecture looks at such a picture and the subsequent investigations that tried to unearth these mysteries.

Ever since the mysterious double panel painting known as the Wilton Diptych was acquired for the National Gallery in 1929, speculations regarding its origins have been rife; but its origins remain unknown. Through the painting Leslie Primo will examine Medieval England, patronage, saints and kingship, unearthing the hidden signs and symbols that have been slowly revealed over the past 80 years.

Tuesday 10 September

Magnificent Mosaics of the Roman World

Christopher BRADLEY

Christopher Bradley is an expert in the history and culture of the Middle East and North Africa and is the writer and photographer of a dozen travel guide books of these areas. Many of his photographs are represented by leading worldwide photographic libraries including the Royal Geographical Society, of which he is a Fellow.


This lavishly illustrated lecture uses only mosaics to present a remarkable artistic record of the Roman lifestyle, beliefs, achievements, entertainment, cities, gods and myths; and their exotic and indulgent lives – from Britain to Sicily, from Morocco to Syria. This is the rise and fall of the Roman Empire but as you have never seen it before.

Tuesday 8 October

The Garden: An Art Form

Marilyn ELM

Marilyn Elm is a qualified landscape architect and interior designer. She has lectured for the National Trust and the Royal Horticultural Society. She is a founder member of the Yorkshire Garden Trust and a Member of the Garden Media Guild.   

Throughout history, garden making has reflected and responded to the artistic trends of the day, sitting alongside developments within architecture, interior design, fashion and the fine and minor arts. Its own art form has found expression in the choice of layout, materials, ornamentation, buildings and planting design, and the creative interplay between space, composition, colour, texture and form. This talk examines that expression, tracing some of the notable artistic developments in mainly English gardens up to the present day.

Wednesday 9 October

Special Interest Half Day – From Knots to Borders – and Beyond

Marilyn ELM

This separately ticketed event will be held in a convivial venue and includes morning tea, light lunch and wine. Marilyn Elm will trace the development of planting design from the delights of the medieval perfumed plot, to the modernist architectural planting and the aesthetics of the ‘prairie style’ so popular today

She discusses the use of colour, texture, form and layout, referencing designers J.C. Loudon, Gertrude Jekyll and Piet Ouldolf (designer of gardens at Scampston Hall, England and Lurie Park, Chicago), James Hitchmough and Nigel Dunnett (designer of London Olympic Park).

Additional cost. Places are limited. Non-members are welcome.

Bookings and prepayment required. Contact

Tuesday 12 November

The Sculptures of the Ross Bridge


Jennie Jackson is Tasmanian, the great, great grand-daughter of a convict quarryman on the Ross Bridge. A general practitioner for forty-four years, she stopped to gaze at the Ross Bridge between clinics in Oatlands and Campbell Town. She has a BFA (Hons) in sculpture and because she sensed a story in the Ross Bridge arch stones and subversion in the keystones, she has researched the history of that time in Van Diemen’s Land and the Britain from which the men of the gang came.
Jennie will present facts, interpretations and imaginings of the art history of the Ross Bridge, the architect John Lee Archer and the Ross Bridge road gang.

The lecture will describe the stone portraits, the grotesques and symbolic keystones, as well as ornamental carvings with unknown meaning, and their relationship to similar carvings in English cathedrals, colleges and churches.
Jennie will discuss the people involved in building and carving the bridge, including Daniel Herbert and James Colbeck, convicts, free and emancipated at Ross, and uncover the myths and archetypes that would have been relevant in the lives of the masons.


ADFAS Launceston lectures are held at:

Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre, Newnham Campus, University of Tasmania, Launceston.

Lectures commence at 6.30PM and are followed by a convivial gathering with a glass of wine and light supper.

Ample parking is available next to the Centre.

Directions to ADFAS Venue


Membership is by annual subscription of $160 with a once-only joining fee of $25.


Click to Join!

Download 2020 Membership Form

If you need more information, please email our Membership Secretary:

Annabel Tyson


Visitors are welcome to attend lectures for a fee of $30. We regret that visitors may only attend 3 lectures per year.


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 on


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. 


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. We continued support for this program in 2018 and added support for primary aged children from several schools by paying for the bus to take the children to visit the Glover exhibition and attend Singfest. We also supported the running of 3 poetry workshops that enabled children to take part in the local Poetry Festival. We already have plans to bus children from 5 local schools to visit the 2019 Glover.

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