This short series of three linked sessions will each explore in detail distinct artists/artistic schools which drew for inspiration on gardens, garden design and planting, but impacted in different ways on textiles, fashion, and culture more broadly. Focusing mainly on the English experience but including in the first session a pairing of English and Spanish (Sargent and Sorolla) with further reference to French impressionists in England. The aim of the classes is to explore the ways in which gardens and design integrate into other aspects of culture and arts by focusing on specific examples.
Session 1 Friday 20th September 2024: John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) and Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923): Portraits of Places and People, Gardens and Garments, History and Cultures. Moving between England, Spain, Italy and Americas we will examine the way in which the concept of gardens as redolent of both antique culture and Edwardian upper-class tastes integrated with portrayals of people, fashions and politics in this late 19th/Early twentieth century period.
Session 2 Friday 25th October 2024: Charleston and the Bloomsbury Group Creating Across Boundaries (c.1907-1950s). Famously described as ‘Living in Squares and Loving in Triangles’ the Bloomsbury Group also lived (and loved) in gardens of all shapes and sizes. In this session we will concentrate on the overlap between the creation of gardens and the creation of art, textiles and interior design at Charleston, Sussex, but will also look at other Bloomsbury gardens and their link to literature.
Session 3 Friday 22nd November 2024: Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious and the artists of Great Bardfield: Gardens, Landscapes, Heritage and Textiles (c. 1920s-1970s). Taking inspiration from the wide range of paintings, prints, posters and book illustrations by Bawden and Ravilious we will explore the links with gardens from Great Bardfield to Kew, Bawden’s work with garden furnishings and his Garden Diary. We will also reference the artists group at Benton End ‘led’ by Cedric Morris and the impact of war on the portrayal of landscape and garden.
Twigs Way is a garden historian, writer, and researcher. She is fascinated by the past and intrigued by the role of flowers, gardens and landscape in art and culture of all kinds. Her talks and books reflect that endless curiosity, with themes of symbolism and meaning, class and gender, art and literature, and her desire to follow unknown paths towards the unexpected. From gnomes in Neasden to hollyhocks from the Holy Land, every plant has a tale to tell, every garden a past. Twigs is an accredited Arts Society lecturer and her history of the Chrysanthemum in art and culture was published by Reaktion in 2020. She is currently working on the equally golden daffodil.
Bookings for this course will close 5 September
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