Programme Jan – Jun 2019
Theme: The Art of Illustration
Illustrated Seminars and Day Visits
Wednesday 9 January 2019, 10.30-12.30, Winchester Discovery Centre
Albrecht Dürer: ‘The Apelles of Black Lines’
Illustrated seminar by Dr Gill White
Towards the end of the 15th century there was a revolution in communication. The emergent printing press created a desire for the printed word and in its wake came a growing interest in illustration. At first the simple woodcut was used but, as the market for print grew, the techniques became more sophisticated and publishers included complex engravings with their works. From there it was a simple step to the emergence of the art print, the individual sheet or series to be collected as a work of art in its own right. The print became a major force for the circulation of ideas, whether in association with or independent from the word. Foremost amongst the print artists was Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), whose works illustrate the restless religious and philosophical world of the early 16th century. His prints are some of the most extraordinary and technically proficient ever produced and caused Erasmus to describe the artist as ‘the Apelles of black lines’. In this session we’ll explore the world of the print in the decades around 1500, looking at its role, its technical development, and its influence. Above all, we will take a close look at some of the new Apelles’s finest works and see whether, as Erasmus claimed, ‘he even depicts what cannot be depicted’.
Wednesday 23 January 2019, 10.30-12.30, Winchester Discovery Centre
Pictures of the Floating World: Ukiyo-e Woodblock Prints
Illustrated seminar by Dr Meri Arichi
Woodblock printing technique, first developed in China, was introduced to Japan at least by the 8th century to create multiple Buddhist texts. Wood block printed books of secular stories with illustrations began to appear in the 16th century, followed by the single sheets with just images from the 17th century. This form of cheap and affordable art was supported by the populace during the Edo period (1615-1868) and came to be known as Ukiyo-e, literally ‘pictures of the Floating World’ for their ephemeral nature. When Japan opened its doors to the west in the mid-19th century, many of these prints were introduced to Europe for the first time and received with a great enthusiasm by the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists in Paris.
Wednesday 13 February 2019, 10.30-12.30, Winchester Discovery Centre
Chinese Print Culture
Illustrated seminar by Dr Malcolm McNeill
Artists around the world and across the ages have drawn on literature as inspiration, re-telling narratives through painting, calligraphy and objects. Chinese artistic tradition often integrates painting and calligraphy within the same surface, combining visual and verbal traditions of storytelling. Yet for those unfamiliar with China’s expansive literary traditions, the tales told in Chinese painting can be inaccessible.
In this seminar Dr McNeill will unpick this complex tapestry of words and images. He will help us to ‘read’ Chinese art, introduce the most popular tales told in Chinese painting, and explore how visual narratives continue to contribute to Chinese literature into the modern period.
The lecture will be followed by a free valuation for Chinese paintings, ceramics and works of art.
Friday 8 March 2019: Visit to Tate Britain and The House of Illustration, London
Travelling independently, we will meet at Tate Britain for coffee at 11am before a guided tour on Social Satire in Art. This will be followed by a buffet lunch, which is included. After lunch we will travel by the Victoria Line to The House of Illustration in Granary Square. Here we will have a guided tour of their main exhibition, Albertina Woodcuts – Viennese Turn of the Century Prints. There will be free time to explore the other two exhibitions: Journeys Drawn – Illustration from the Refugee Crisis and The King of the Golden River, illustration from Quentin Blake’s latest book.
(There will be an 8-10 minute walk from Tate Britain to the Underground and a similar walk from Kings Cross to Granary Square.) A detailed schedule will be issued nearer the date.
(Minimum number 20)
Wednesday 13 March 2019, 10.30-12.30, Winchester Discovery Centre
Soviet Art: Revolution and Propaganda
Illustrated seminar by Jane Angelini
Part 1 Russian Avant Garde and Revolution – By the turn of the 20th century Russia had become a cauldron of radicalism, where Avant Garde artists like Malevich, El Lissitsky, Popova, Tatlin and Rodchenko worked with a remarkable sense of creative urgency, and an aspiration to affect unprecedented socio-political transformation. Their movements – Constructivism and Suprematism – were harnessed to the war effort by Lenin, when new tools of propaganda were needed to inspire and encourage civilians and soldiers. The suprematist style of using a limited range of colours was to become a trademark of the Soviet posters, which so successfully convey the sense of romance, heroism and artistic optimism of the early revolutionary years.
Part 2 Creating the Soviet Myth – 20th century artists such as Brodsky, Petrov Vodkin, Filonov, Kustodiev variously reflect the extraordinary changes taking place in Russia and the creation of its new order. Cult portraits of party leaders, heroic images of factory workers, female workers, excitement at scientific advances and a valiant sense of optimism regarding the future of Soviet Man are expressed in different and exciting ways and Socialist Realism shown to be not as dull some may think.
Wednesday 3 April 2019, 10.30-12.30, Winchester Discovery Centre
Illustration, Illumination and Creative Conflict in the Work of William Blake
Illustrated seminar by Naomi Billingsley
Poet, painter and printer William Blake (1757-1827) was engaged in various forms of illustration throughout his career. Trained as an engraver, for much of his life his most reliable source of income was from commercial engravings that illustrated a variety of texts. He also had several patrons who commissioned original paintings and watercolours depicting subjects from the Bible and literature. And of course, Blake created his own illuminated poems that combine text and image. However, the term ‘illustration’ may not capture the complexity of relationships between image and text in many of Blake’s work. For example: uncompromising in his views, when illustrating texts by others, Blake often used his designs to critique ideas in the texts that he disagreed with, so that his designs are in creative conflict with the texts. Elsewhere, in his own illuminated poems, the relationships between word and image can be cryptic. The seminar will explore some of these complexities in Blake’s work. It will centre especially on the figure of Christ, who appears in almost all of Blake’s major bodies of work; this focus will act as a guiding thread to explore a range of Blake’s work in different contexts throughout his career.
Wednesday 15 May 2019, 10.30-12.30, Winchester Discovery Centre
Looking again at the Winchester Bible
Illustrated seminar by Dr Claire Donovan
The Winchester Bible is one of the great treasures of our local Cathedral and known internationally as the finest of the giant Bibles made in 12th century England. That is no surprise. Winchester was then an ambitious centre of the arts, encouraged and supported by one of the greatest of Winchester’s medieval bishops, Bishop Henry de Blois (1129-71). The city, although devastatingly caught up in the civil war, was buzzing with new artistic projects with no shortage of wealth. The Winchester Bible was commissioned in the midst of this vibrant milieu, a manuscript designed to be illuminated on a magnificent scale: 91 huge illuminated initials planned, of which 43 were completed, in gold and colours of staggering extravagance.
All that is well known to today’s people of Winchester. But this seminar enables us to go further. Today we will have a chance for a more detailed look at all aspects of the Bible, gaining new understanding of it as it was made in around 1160, and its extraordinary survival through nearly 860 years. More than this, however, we will look at the wider context of which this manuscript was part, looking both within Winchester and across contemporary Europe.
Followed by the AGM
Monday 3 June 2019: Visit to Skinners’ Hall and the Guildhall Art Gallery, London
Independent travel to London where we will have coffee at a local cafe before visiting Skinners’ Hall for a ninety-minute guided tour which will include the history of the Hall and a visit to its art works including the highly acclaimed Brangwyn panels. We will leave Skinners’ Hall on foot for a short walk to St Stephen Walbrook which was built to a design by Sir Christopher Wren and which boasts a magnificent interior. From here we will take another short walk to the Host Cafe at St Mary Aldermary for a light lunch, which is included. After lunch we will again take a short walk to the Guildhall Art Gallery for a guided tour of the highlights of the Art Gallery, Heritage Gallery and Amphitheatre. A detailed schedule will be issued nearer the date.
(Maximum numbers 20)
Wednesday 12 June 2019, 10.30-12.30, Winchester Discovery Centre
Bawden and Ravilious
Illustrated seminar by Peyton Skipwith
Edward Bawden (1903-1989) and Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) first met on the day they enrolled at the Royal College of Art (RCA), South Kensington, in September 1922 and bonded immediately; a close friendship only severed by Ravilious’s early death in 1942.
Bawden’s speciality was calligraphy, while Ravilious chose mural painting; at the RCA they were consigned to the Design School. Both men were precocious and Bawden, who turned to illustration, was commissioned to design his earliest posters for the London Underground while still at the College. Paul Nash, a teacher at the Design School during 1924, encouraged Ravilious to experiment with wood engraving. By this time Bawden was already making his first experiments with linocut and learning the craft of copper engraving. Later they mastered the art of lithography, and Ravilious’s High Street is a much-loved example of his inventive treatment of the medium. However, his outstanding achievements, Twelfth Night and The Writings of Gilbert White of Selborne were both illustrated with wood engravings. In contrast, Edward Bawden was a pragmatist and a polymath exploiting many devices as technical aids in the creation of posters, dust-jackets and book illustrations.
The first part of the seminar will deal with their early life, time at the RCA and their subsequent production of murals. The second will concentrate on Bawden’s illustrative work in the post-war years up until his death in 1989.
Wednesday 26 June 2019, 10.30-12.30, Winchester Discovery Centre
A Life in Printing and Book Illustration
Illustrated seminar by Tony Kenyon
This seminar will in part take the form of an interview with Tony. Details of his apprenticeship in printing and the artists who have inspired him will emerge as well as an outline of his international career in book and magazine design and illustration, culminating in the production of several illustrated books. His most recent book on the diver William Walker, entitled Diver Bill, was produced in collaboration with Judith Andersen of Winchester University and published in October 2018. Tony would like to cover the idea, still common, that printmaking is a secondary art form and also to discuss the ‘unpredictable element’ of printmaking. He will also explore how a sequence of prints can examine a theme, as exemplified by artists like Picasso and Hockney. Tony has ideas for future projects – examining social media and looking again at prophetic novels like 1984 and music and how they can suggest powerful images.
Copies of Tony’s book Diver Bill will be available to purchase at the seminar.