Cairns

ArtsNational Cairns welcomes you. 

ArtsNational Cairns is a small but enthusiastic society and celebrated our 25th Anniversary in 2021. We are all volunteers providing appreciation and education of the Arts with topics such as sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, music, design and more.

We welcome anyone who wants to know more about the Arts in a friendly atmosphere with similar-minded people, or if you just want to learn something new!  Enjoy social and cultural opportunities throughout the year which include eight illustrated talks by expert speakers in their field.  Afternoon tea is provided where you have the opportunity to chat with the lecturer in person.

Cairns has many cultural attractions: art galleries, museum, aquarium, indigenous arts festival, and other ethnic celebrations including Chinese and Indian festivities that showcase their vibrant cultures.

Lectures:

Venue:
Lectures are held at the Stratford Library Meeting Room, 11 Kamerunga Road, Stratford with Ample parking and mobility access.

Time:
Lectures are on a Sunday and begin at 2pm.

Program
Find full details of the 2024 program here

Membership:
Half Year Membership
$70 Single for Lectures from July to November

Membership includes a free Pass for a Guest for one lecture
Click here to join or email: cairns@artsnational.au

Guests welcome:
$25 per lecture
Companion Card accepted
Contact Gaynor Ellis on 0447 205 891

Contact:
For all enquiries please email: cairns@artsnational.au
ABN: 95 113 690 226

Committee
Chair: Gaynor Ellis
Secretary: Jo Hodgson
Treasurer: Lynn Caskey
Membership: Jenni Campbell

2024 PROGRAM

Sunday 17 March 2024
LES PARISIENNES: HOW WOMEN LIVED, LOVED, AND DIED IN PARIS FROM 1939 TO 1949
Presented by: Anne Sebba
Venue & Time: Stratford Library Meeting Room, 11 Kamerunga Road. Arrive at 1:30pm for a 2pm start

Les Parisiennes is a story about women’s lives during the Nazi occupation including British and American women caught in Paris, as well as native born resisters who were eventually sent to prison camps, couturiers, and jewellers as well as actors, night club dancers and housewives. British women worked as secret agents living clandestinely escorting downed Allied airmen from one safe house to another. The lecture opens with a magnificent circus ball at a chateau in the grounds of Versailles, many guests not believing war was imminent and ends with Christian Dior’s lavish 1947 new look and his perfume Miss Dior.

Biographer, historian, and author of eleven books Anne Sebba lectures in the US and UK, and to the National Trust, British Library, and Imperial War Museum. Formerly a Reuters foreign correspondent, Anne presents on BBC Radio and television talking about her books, including biographies on Jennie Churchill, Laura Ashley, Wallis Simpson and her latest book Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy published in 2021.

Sunday 14 April 2024
SEEING MUSIC, HEARING ART
Presented by David Banney
Venue & Time: Stratford Library Meeting Room, 11 Kamerunga Road        Arrive at 1:30pm for a 2:00pm start

Leonardo and Palestrina, Picasso and Stravinsky, Debussy and Matisse – art and music are never provided in a vacuum, and the histories of art and music have run similar courses, with music always a little way behind. This talk traces the major historical movements of the last 1000 years, exploring the parallels between sound and visual images. How can we ‘hear’ perspective? How can we ‘see’ sonata form? What does Rothko sound like, and what does Philip Glass look like? And why does music always take longer to catch up?

David is one of Australia’s most highly regarded musicians, with success as a conductor, composer, string player and educator. A past winner of the ABC Young Conductor’s Award, David is Artistic Director of the Christ Church Camerata and the Newcastle Music Festival. He is Interim Music Director of Christ Church Cathedral Newcastle. David has worked with many of Australia’s leading orchestras and soloists, including the Queensland, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, and Opera Queensland.

Sunday 2 June 2024
HOW WE GOT IKEA: SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN 1880-1960
Presented by Anne Anderson
Venue & Time: Stratford Library Meeting Room, 11 Kamerunga Road. Arrive at 1:30pm for a 2:00pm start

This is the story of how Norway, Sweden and Denmark looked to the British Arts and Crafts movement for design reform and influenced how Scandinavian design came of age in the 1950s. Scandinavian modern offered and ideal lifestyle for the post-war era, based on clean lines, natural materials and the notion that ‘less is more’.

An Arts Society lecturer since 1994 Anne was senior lecturer at Southampton Solent University and is currently Hon Associate Professor at Exeter University, a tutor for the Victoria and Albert Learning Academy, and Ceramics Consultant for Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum. Anne has published on Art Deco teapots, the Pre-Raphaelites, Edward Burne-Jones, and Art Nouveau architecture. She held various fellowships and has curated national exhibitions, the most recent Beyond the Brotherhood; the Pre-Raphaelite Legacy (2019-20).

Sunday 23 June 2024
STREAMS OF FIRE AND TONGUES OF FLAME – A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ART OF GLASS
Presented by Geoffrey Edwards
Venue & Time: Stratford Library Meeting Room, 11 Kamerunga Road. Arrive at 1:30pm for a 2:00pm start

In this illustrated talk the ancient and remarkable history of glass as an art form is traced with reference to works in major public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. The lecture also refers to glass-related imagery and symbolism in the visual arts, film and literature – a tradition that ranges in time and type from biblical allusion and Chaucerian dream visions of glass temples through to the novels of Daphne du Maurier, the films of Orson Wells, the poetry of Les Murray and recent science fiction.

Geoffrey Edwards was Director of the Geelong Art Gallery, one of Australia’s oldest and largest regional galleries. Prior to this appointment, he held Senior Curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Victoria where he was in charge of the collections of International and Australian sculpture and Melbourne’s celebrated holdings of ancient, antique and modern glass. He is the author of various monographs, numerous exhibition catalogues and contributes to journals in Australia, Japan, Britain and America.

Sunday 28 July 2024
CABBAGES, CARROTS AND LAMB: SPANISH STILL LIFE FROM 1600-1812
Presented by Daniel Evans
Venue & Time: Stratford Library Meeting Room, 11 Kamerunga Road.  Arrive at 1:30pm for a 2pm start

Still Life painting is incredible. It found many of its origins in Spain. The symbolism and meaning is rich whilst easy to comprehend, and sometimes it’s a little bit over the top. The lecture will cover a cabbage that has been painted with such astonishing accuracy that the painted version is more alluring than the vegetable itself and lamb that waits comfortably for its destiny on a spit above a fire pit. Featuring paintings by Velazquez, Zurbaran, Meléndez & Goya, we shall explore several stunning key themes from religious fervour to the generation of waste. 

Dan Evans, an educationalist with a passion for European art and architecture. He teaches History and A Level History of Art at Cheltenham College, a full boarding independent school established in 1841Dan has been lecturing since 2001, and spent 9 years working as a senior lecturer and tour guide for Art History Abroad and he was once voted the British winner of the World Guide of the Year Awards. 

Sunday 25 August 2024
CULTURE AND KITCH: ART AND TASTE
Presented by Lynne Gibson
Venue & Time: Stratford Library Meeting Room, 11 Kamerunga Road        Arrive at 1:30pm for a 2:00pm start

What has happened to art? Tracy Emin reveals her dirty knickers and crumpled sheets, Damien Hirst pickles fish and directs pop videos, Jeff Koons stars in pornographic photographs and designs giant floral puppies. Surely Raphael, Rembrandt and Reynolds would be turning in their graves! Is high-brow culture ‘dumbing down’ or is art becoming gloriously democratic, embracing consumerism, the mass media and kitsch? If you are regarded as ‘elitist’ or, conversely, if you are a secret hoarder of garden gnomes, this lecture will offer some insights into the politically incorrect world of Culture, Fine Art, and Taste. 

Lynne Gibson is a freelance lecturer in History of Art, and in Drawing, Painting and Printmaking. She has worked at the Universities of Sussex and Bristol and has conducted lectures, courses and guided tours for organisations including Art Galleries and Museums, The Art Fund, The National Trust and The Arts Society. She is a professional artist specializing in oil painting and etching has been exhibited widely and her work used in a range of publications. 

Sunday 22 September 2024
PARADISE LOST AND RESTORED – 400 YEARS OF GARDEN DESIGN IN OXFORDSHIRE
Presented by Timothy Walker
Venue & Time: Stratford Library Meeting Room, 11 Kamerunga Road. Arrive at 1:30pm for a 2:00pm start

Over 400 years, successive Horti Praefecti (head gardeners) changed the features of the Oxford Botanic Garden, reflecting the art of gardening, and occasionally the science of botany.  How is this displayed in garden design at the beginning of the 21st century?

From 1988 to 2014 Timothy Walker was the Director of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden.  Botanic gardens are often described as living museums, and garden curators talk about them in the same way as museum curators do. Gardens are often thought of a place where science and art meet on equal terms and Timothy’s lectures investigate this relationship.  Since 2014, he has taught Plant Biology at Somerville College Oxford. 

Sunday 10 November 2024
PULL UP A CHAIR: ARCHITECT DESIGNED FURNITURE FROM THE BAUHAUS TO FRANK GEHRY
Presented by Deborah Jenner
Venue & Time: Stratford Library Meeting Room, 11 Kamerunga Road       Arrive at 1:30pm for a 2:00pm start

Furniture has often been designed as a miniature of a building’s forms and ornaments. It naturally makes use of the available materials and techniques of its time. Breuer’s chair was adapted from a bicycle frame and Magistretti made use of wire racking. Then, mid-20th century popularized prefabrication and moulded materials. Eames exploited plastics for his single-shell chairs while Gehry used layers of humble corrugated cardboard for his ottoman. Each piece makes a statement about architectural styles yet each can also blend with and update more classical interiors. Even the uncomfortable ones can serve as a sculptural work of art. 

Deborah Jenner, American-born art historian; member of College Arts Association has resided in Paris since 1990. She has worked at the Ecole du Louvre, the Sorbonne, the Catholic Institute, and the British Council. Her Doctorate thesis proved non-western influences in Georgia O’Keeffe’s art. Deborah’s publications include catalogue essays for Musée d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou, many scholarly papers and Gallery critiques. She gives public talks, guided walks and museum tours for ex-pat organisations and study-abroad programs.