Lecture Programme


Lectures at the Lit & Phil

These talks are organised by the Lit & Phil (you don't need to be a member in order to attend any of their public events), and tickets cost £4 per talk, from the Lit & Phil Library, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE, in person or over the phone (0191) 232 0192. It is advisable to book seats in advance; if you reserve a ticket and are subsequently unable to attend, please let us know as we often have a waiting list.

The Art of David Bomberg

Coming to the Laing in February 2018 is the first significant exhibition of David Bomberg's work in more than a decade. The exhibition will mark the 60th anniversary of the artist's death and will be co-curated by Ben Uri Gallery, Pallant House Gallery and the Laing Art Gallery.

Gail-Nina offers a special lecture, to coincide with the exhibition, on Wednesday 28th February at 6.00 pm (tickets £4).

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Meanwhile, Gail-Nina resumes her series of triads of art lectures. As with her previous sets of three talks examining different aspects of a movement or theme in art, each one stands alone as an independent lecture, so don't worry if you can only attend one or two.

Ladies from the Laing

Wednesday 24th January, 6.00 pm
Joshua Reynolds: Mrs Elizabeth Ridell
Wednesday 31st January, 6.00 pm
William Holman Hunt: Isabella and the Pot of Basil
Wednesday 7th February, 6.00 pm
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema: Love in Idleness

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The Urban Scene: Three Street Scenes

Wednesday 7th March, 6.00 pm
Ford Madox Brown: Work (Manchester City Art Gallery)
Wednesday 14th March, 6.00 pm
Pierre-Auguste Renoir: The Umbrellas (National Gallery, London)
Wednesday 21st March, 6.00 pm
Edward Hopper: Nighthawks (Art Institute of Chicago)

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Talk in Durham
How do you recognise a fairy?

How to recognise a fairy: The Marriage of Oberon and Titania

On Monday, February 12th, 6.00 - 7.00 pm, Gail-Nina Anderson will be at Durham's Palace Green Library, for an illustrated talk, tracking how fairies changed once they moved from being creatures of oral folklore to being visualised via the expectations of academic art, then re-created within a sentimentalised concept of childhood and imagination.

Older beliefs about fairies were rarely written down and hardly ever illustrated. The fairies of folklore didn't look much like 'Tinkerbell', and were certainly not suitable companions for small children.

While the fairies of modern imagination tend to be small, cute and obligingly eco-conscious, this image has essentially developed from the uneven interaction of older texts with Victorian artistic traditions. A heady mixture of classicism, botany and Shakespearean reference has ultimately engendered the familiar fairy of today, complete with gossamer wings and flower-petal skirts.

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Talks at Newcastle Castle

Gail-Nina's illustrated lectures at Newcastle Castle take place in the Black Gate, which has a lift and is fully accessible to wheelchair users. Refreshments - including tea and coffee - will be available to purchase at events. Topics are mostly folklore and art-related themes. Booking is always lively, but if your chosen event is already sold out, please use the online booking service to register your interest, for the possibility of a repeat performance.

Friday February 16th, 6.00 - 7.00 pm
Wizards, Witches and Wicked Step-Mothers
In real life, a witch might just look like the old lady down the road, but in popular culture we need to know a baddie when we see one, so various visual clues have evolved to give us typical versions of those dangerous characters who dabble in the occult.
It's not that simple, however.
Who depicts them, when and why? The villainess in a Disney cartoon or a fairy-tale illustration won't look the same as she might in a 16th century woodcut or painting, not all wizards have long white beards and there's a surprisingly old tradition of depicting sexy witches flying off naked to the Sabbat. A culture that fears the supernatural will depict its practitioners very differently from one where they have become romanticised, re-interpreted as benign or made a joke of.
This talk explores how visual traditions have grown up over centuries to give us a variety of stereotypes, from gorgeous Victorian enchantresses to Hogwarts academics, green-faced crones in pointy hats and eco-friendly hedge witches.
Tickets £4.50, via Eventbrite, on sale Friday 19th January.