Programme Sep – Dec 2022

The Art of the Sea
 The intention behind this theme is to highlight different aspects of the sea as captured by artists over time and in different parts of the world. These include the sea in all its moods, showing the quality of light as it plays on the waves as well as its more specific relationship to people and their lives. For many, it is a source of food and livelihood but it can also bring danger and death and destruction. It is and has been a major means of communication and trade, enabling exploration to distant, exotic places and enriching peoples and cultures as a result.  There have been big marine battles and small fishing expeditions. There have been grand galleons and pirate ships. The sea has been the backdrop for all.

Wednesday 7 September 2022, 10.30-12.30, The Arc, Jewry St, Winchester
Art, Fish and Sail: Cornish Historic Art
Illustrated seminar by Catherine Wallace
This seminar will look at the relationship between art and the fishing industry in Cornwall between 1880 and 1900.  In particular it will analyse how the Newlyn School artists captured the lives of the families dependent on fishing, the hard work and the tragedies they suffered and the boats they used to fish in.  The seminar will begin with work, mainly in watercolour, by the Birmingham artist, Walter Langley, who became known for his Social Realist portrayals of Newlyn fishwives. The seminar will also include the work of Frank Bramley whose painting Hopeless Dawn, 1888, caught the critics’ eyes and cemented the Newlyners’ reputations at the Royal Academy (RA) in London.  Stanhope Forbes had already created a stir with his major work, Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach, when it was shown at the RA in 1885. The works of other artists, such as Percy Craft and Thomas Cooper Gotch who also created paintings of the fishermen and their wives and families, will be explored.  Further up the coast, at Falmouth, Charles Napier Hemy had established himself as an important marine painter.  However it was the artist Henry Scott Tuke who began in Newlyn but moved to Falmouth in 1885, who became famous for his paintings of every kind  of seagoing vessel. The maritime work of both these artists will be discussed during this seminar.

Wednesday 28 September 2022, 10.30-12.30, The Arc, Jewry St, Winchester
Images of Sea in Japanese Art
Illustrated seminar by Dr Meri Arichi
Japan is an island country like Britain. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean and is separated from the Asian Continent on the west by the Sea of Japan. There are four main islands, Hokkaido in the north, Honshu the largest, Shikoku, and Kyushu in the south, as well as over 6000 smaller islands.
Sea was always closely connected to people’s lives, providing food and transport, but also presented danger and fear since the ancient times. The relationship with the sea is celebrated in poetry and literature and the awe-inspiring beauty of nature also provided inspiration to artists over the centuries.  The contact with the outside world was limited to the Korean Peninsular in the early days, and it was not until the 16th century the first western people, some shipwrecked Portuguese tradesmen, arrived in the small island in the south. They were followed by Jesuit missionaries who introduced Christianity and the knowledge about the wider outside world to Japanese.
We will examine different aspects of the sea in paintings in the first hour, then focus on the theme of the sea seen in the art of woodblock prints and its relationship with the contemporary manga in the second half of this seminar.

Wednesday 19 October 2022, 10.30-12.30, The Arc, Jewry St, Winchester
A Bit of Slap and Tickle: Constable’s Brighton Paintings 1824-1828 Materials and Techniques
Illustrated seminar by Sarah Cove
In the mid-1820s, Constable added the newly fashionable seaside resort of Brighton to his familiar motifs of the Suffolk countryside and the skies of Hampstead Heath.  His family began to take regular holidays there from 1824 in response to his wife’s deteriorating health (she died of consumption in 1828).  In Brighton, Constable was confronted with the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan life against the backdrop of traditional fishing and coastal industry.  He adapted practiced painting methods to the challenges of the new subject matter.  He developed striking techniques such as ‘slapping’ paint on with a palette knife and ‘tickling’ it about with the point of a brush handle to create movement and texture in some of the most fabulous depictions of the British coast and sky ever painted.  From an accumulation of virtuosi outdoor oil sketches and studio studies he created one of his most famous ‘six-footers’, The Chain Pier, Brighton, 1827 (Tate). This lecture includes recent research and images of oil sketches from the V&A and Royal Academy of Arts collections, studio studies and the full-size The Chain Pier, Brighton, examined during the Constable Research Project, and it also touches on Sarah’s examination of A Sea Beach, Brighton for BBC1’s ‘Fake or Fortune?: Constable’ in 2014.

 Wednesday 2 November 2022, 10.30-12.30, The Arc, Jewry St, Winchester
Selling the Seaside: 20th Century Holiday Posters
Illustrated seminar by Gill Saunders
Sun, sand and sea – this formula for the perfect summer holiday was promoted in posters issued by the railway companies (which earned much of their revenue from holidaymakers) from the early 20th century to the 1960s. These posters encouraged the development of certain coastal towns as holiday destinations and helped to shape the ‘brand identity’ of each resort or region, emphasising their particular attractions – beautiful landscapes, plentiful sunshine and bracing sea air, clean sandy beaches for children’s games, as well as new hotels, golf courses, lidos and piers. The talk will chart the development of the poster as a distinctive art form which successfully married good graphic design with commercial considerations. Specialist designers such as Tom Purvis and Edward McKnight Kauffer helped to elevate poster design in the 1920s and 30s, drawing on Surrealism and Art Deco to craft aspirational imagery – fashion plate sunbathers, Modernist architecture, golden beaches and blue seas – that brought the allure of the French Riviera to the British seaside. Posters of the 1950s and 60s offered an increasingly nostalgic version of these pleasures as holidaymakers were lured abroad by cheap packages and dependable weather.  Advertising an escape from everyday life, these posters now have a new fascination when the British seaside is enjoying a revival.

Wednesday 16 November 2022, 10.30-12.30, The Arc, Jewry St, Winchester
Marine Painting – Inspiration for Turner
Illustrated seminar by Barry Venning
As an island nation with an expanding empire, a powerful navy and burgeoning international trade, it is hardly surprising that marine subjects played an increasingly important part in 18th century British painting, notably in the work of artists such as Samuel Scott, Charles Brooking and Dominic and John Thomas Serres. From the point of view of the Royal Academy of Arts, however, sea paintings were one of the lesser genres of art. It was the great JMW Turner who demonstrated how powerful and compelling marine painting could be.
The great critic, John Ruskin, believed that Turner’s later marine paintings included ‘the noblest seas ever painted by man’ and over the years few have seriously contested his judgement. One third of Turner’s oil paintings are of marine or seafaring subjects, and this seminar surveys the full range of his works in this genre. They include sea battles, fishing scenes, wreck pictures, the slave trade, mythological subjects, whaling scenes and, above all, the sea itself in all its moods. It will also re-evaluate the work of Turner’s great successors and contemporaries such as W L Wyllie and Clarkson Stanfield, of whom Ruskin said: ‘One work of Stanfield alone presents us with as much concentrated knowledge of sea and sky, as, diluted, would have lasted any one of the old masters his life’.

Wednesday 7 December 2022, 10.30-12.30, The Arc, Jewry St, Winchester
Marine Paintings of the Dutch Golden Age
Illustrated seminar by Hendrika Foster
‘God made the world, but the Dutch made The Netherlands’.
The sea is an ever present, dominant factor in life in The Netherlands.  Learning to control it to some extent has pre-occupied the Dutch for centuries and turned it into a Maritime power.  Other countries envied this, so the land had to be won twice, once from the sea and then from foreign invaders.
In art, landscape and seascape developed rapidly as new genres.  It also included water in the form of rivers or canals and, from this, seascape painting, or marine painting, gained popularity as an expression of Dutch pride in achievement.  In the highly competitive art world of 17th century, Netherlandish artists became specialists in their chosen genre. Gradually as an expression of pride in the natural surroundings, images became specifically identified with individual cities or areas.  The addition of a Dutch flag or perhaps a recognisable church spire or harbour became usual.  For some artists the painting became a poetic metaphor, with a calm sea representing peace and quiet, with stormy waves indicating challenges in life and the necessity for ‘Calm amongst billows’.  From the time of Willem I, Prince of Orange and Nassau, the Father of The Netherlands, in 1572 his motto of Je Maintiendrai – I will maintain was accompanied by the device of two anchors – Double Certainty, of the Freedom won by the Dutch from Spanish domination.  The nautical symbol well represented the needs of this maritime nation.

Followed by WAHG Christmas Party