Orange & Districts

ArtsNational Orange and Districts welcomes you. 

ArtsNational Orange and Districts Inc provides its members a yearly program of 8 illustrated arts-related lectures presented by skilled overseas and Australian experts. ArtsNational Orange and Districts is one of 36 societies in Australia. Each lecture is preceded by members and guests gathering for informal drinks and finger food.. No special knowledge is required – just a natural curiosity and an interest in the arts (and a sense of humour of course).


Venue: Holy Trinity Church Hall, corner of Anson and Byng Streets, Orange

Lectures are on a Wednesday
6pm for pre lecture drinks and finger food.
6:30pm lecture starts

Annual membership – $160
Email Ellen Fisher

Guests welcome:
$30 per lecture

Chair: Ellen Fisher
Treasurer: Wendy Sissian
Membership: Ellen Fisher

For all enquiries please email Ellen Fisher
Postal Address: PO Box 749 Orange NSW 2800
ABN: 41 653 352 171


Wednesday 13 March 2024
Presented by: David Worthington
Time & Venue: 6pm for 6:30pm start, Holy Trinity Church Hall, corner of Anson and Byng Streets, Orange

It is likely that the first architects were the stonemasons who built temples and cathedrals. So sculptors were the architects. In the ancient world the building was a plinth for a sculpture such as the golden Athena on the Parthenon. Over time sculpture became decoration before being stripped away by the ‘less is more’ credo. However, the two arts remain closely intertwined. A sculpture has its architecture and good architecture is sculptural. This lecture will trace this inter-relationship showing how in an age of computer aided design an understanding of sculpture is more Important than ever for architecture.

David has been drawn to abstract sculpture since seeing a Barbara Hepworth in a school book. He graduated in Philosophy and Theology from Oxford in 1984, then studied fine art in London, Barcelona and New York. A sculptor with many international commissions, he also curates and writes about art. He was shortlisted for the Jerwood Sculpture Prize in 2009. David is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Sculptors and was Vice President in 2010-13. 

Wednesday 17 April 2024
Presented by Gavin Fry
Time & Venue: 6pm for 6:30pm start, Holy Trinity Church Hall, corner of Anson and Byng Streets, Orange

Since the end of the Vietnam War more than forty years ago, Australians have served in many parts of the world in the role of peacekeepers. While the title might sound benign, the conflicts and experiences of those at the front can be as dramatic and dangerous as any world war. Ben Quilty and George Gittoes have both worked as war artists with these small expeditionary forces, bringing home a truly human story, filled with the high emotion and drama befitting artists of deep feeling and conscience.

Gavin Fry is a writer, artist and museum professional with fifty years’ experience working in curatorial and management positions in Australian museums, galleries and educational institutions. He is the author of twenty-five books on Australian art and history and a large number of catalogue and journal essays. In retirement Gavin has returned to his art training and exhibits as a painter in Newcastle and Melbourne. Gavin holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts [Hons] and Master of Arts from Monash University and Master of Philosophy from Leicester University.

Wednesday 22 May 2024
Presented by Andy McConnell
Time & Venue: 6pm for 6:30pm start, Holy Trinity Church Hall, corner of Anson and Byng Streets, Orange

The decanter occupies a unique position in glass history. Though its name was not coined until around 1700, the decanter was the fount of wine consumption for 2000 years, and it remained the principal vessel in the repertoire of British table-glass for centuries, until it became a victim of changing social trends. This talk places the decanter within glassmaking history, charting its stylistic evolution and the life & times of its users. The title of this talk is taken from Andy’s recent book, The Decanter, Ancient to Modern (2018),the result of 20 years’ research, composing and illustrating.

Andy has dealt in antiques since adolescence but served an apprenticeship in journalism. After working in music, film and television, he returned to writing in 2004, authoring the The Decanter, An Illustrated History of Glass From 1650. He followed this in 2006 with Miller’s’ 20th Century Glass. He continues to write and runs Britain’s largest antique glass gallery in Rye, Sussex. Andy is best known as the humorous glass specialist on BBC’s evergreen Antiques Roadshow.


Wednesday 22 May 2024
Presented by Andy McConnell
Time & Venue: 

First formed by accident 5,000 years ago on an Iraqi beach, glass has gradually evolved into Mankind’s most important creation and its greatest tool in shaping the modern world, most significantly due a single object, the lens.

By its nature, glass is virtually invisible and out-of-sight means out-of-mind. As a result, most people are oblivious to its impact on our daily lives. From lenses, though architecture and transport to the fibre-optic cables that connect the world. And that’s not to mention the glasses that sit in our hands of an evening!

Lenses enable the poor-sighted to see and scientists to work. Without glass, our homes would be little more than lightless caves, there would be no screens, for cars & planes, televisions or phones. There would be no functional or artistic glassware.

This talk traces the history of glass from its earliest beginnings, demonstrating how its gradual evolution has benefitted us and our forebears. We’d be lost without glass, Mankind’s greatest discovery and tool. As a scientist once said, ‘Glass is the answer. Now, what’s the question?’

Wednesday 26 June 2024
Presented by Sam Bowker
Time & Venue: 6pm for 6:30pm start, Holy Trinity Church Hall, corner of Anson and Byng Streets, Orange

With needles, scissors and thimbles, the Tentmakers of Cairo sew spectacular walls of colour. These khayamiya appliques are used to decorate the streets of Egypt, transforming public spaces into vibrant ceremonial pavilions. They inspired the paper cut-outs of Henri Matisse, were collected as souvenirs by the ANZACs, and are now an endangered art form in Egypt. It is now valued by those who appreciate skilled hands, living heritage, and dazzling colour. This presentation features unpublished archival photographs and actual textiles to showcase the transformations in khayamiya over the past 150 years. Displaying the history of the Tentmakers of Cairo is one way to sustain their future, and it gives Australians a rare opportunity to see Egypt’s most exhilarating form of street art. This lecture reflects on how a new field in art history can emerge from small pieces sewn together.

Dr Sam Bowker is the Senior Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture at Charles Sturt University. Beyond developing Australia’s leading ‘Islamic art and design’ subject for university students, he has curated diverse
international exhibitions and published widely on the history of khayamiya (Egyptian tentmaker applique).

Wednesday 24 July 2024
Presented by John Stevens
Time & Venue: 6pm for 6:30pm start, Holy Trinity Memorial Hall, Anson Street, Orange (behind the Bluestone building)

Prior to British rule, India was governed by the Mughal emperors. The stunning buildings and gardens, that they constructed from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, left an indelible stamp on India’s cultural landscape. This lecture will take you on a tour of some of India’s greatest buildings, examining their historical contexts and the colourful personalities involved in their construction.

Dr John Stevens is a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London and holds a PhD in History. He teaches and publishes on British Imperial and Indian history, as well as teaching Bengali, and is a regular visitor to India and Bangladesh.  His biography of Indian guru Keshab Chandra Sen was published in 2018. He appears regularly in the Indian media and recently on BBC Radio 4, discussing the poet and artist Rabindranath Tagore.

Wednesday 21 August 2024
Presented by Vivienne Lawes
Time & Venue: 6pm for 6:30pm start, Holy Trinity Church Hall, corner of Anson and Byng Streets, Orange

Explores the work of an artist whose, inventiveness, and ability to catch the zeitgeist is still admired a century after her bold ‘Bizarre’ wares were launched in 1927. These Art Deco masterpieces are the products that most vividly signify Clarice Cliff’s legacy. Cliff’s talents were recognised when a teenager, and she went on to set the bar for ceramics as a commercial art form.

Viv Lawes is an art historian, art market analyst and curator. She teaches at several London-based universities including Sotheby’s Institute of Art and the University of the Arts London Her education courses at these institutions cover a variety of topics, including The Art Market, History of Western Art 1350-1970, History of Design 1350-1970, and Asian Art. A former art market journalist at The Art Newspaper, she writes for a wide array of publications and private clients. Her articles, essays and reports have been published widely.

Wednesday 25 September 2024
Presented by Rosalind Whyte
Time & Venue: 6pm for 6:30pm start, Holy Trinity Church Hall, corner of Anson and Byng Streets, Orange

Portraits provide a fascinating insight into changing styles of dress over the centuries. This lecture follows the different fashions as revealed in paintings, looking at dress and accessories, and some of the more ridiculous styles of fashion from the 16th century to the 19th century. It focuses particularly on fashion in England, but looks also at some contrasting Continental fashions. In times when Sumptuary Laws prescribed what you could wear, according to your status in society, fashion was less a personal choice and more a reflection of social standing. Have fun exploring the wildest extremes of fashion through the ages.

Rosalind holds a BA and MA from Goldsmith’s College, and an MA (distinction) from Birkbeck College. She is an experienced guide at Tate Britain, the Tate Modern, the Royal Academy and The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. She lectures at the Tate, to independent art societies and on cruises.

Wednesday 30 October 2024
Presented by Paul Chapman
Time & Venue: 6pm for 6:30pm start, Holy Trinity Church Hall, corner of Anson and Byng Streets, Orange

Matisse is regarded as one of the artists who best helped to define revolutionary developments in the visual arts throughout the opening decades of the twentieth century. His intense use of colour between 1900 and 1905 brought him notoriety as one of the Fauves (wild beasts) During WWI he moved to the South of France, here his work became more figurative and he was heralded as an upholder of the French Classical tradition. In later age he had a second flourish as an avant-garde artist. A truly important art figure and an inspiration to countless generations of painters that followed. 

Paul is an Art Historian and a National Gallery trained guide with considerable experience in education. Paul delivers courses and lectures for educational organisations as well as tours for art associations/societies in Museums and Galleries in the UK and Europe. He is a guide at Longford Castle art collection in Wiltshire and is a visiting tutor at Marlborough College. Paul has published a book on cultural crossovers and appropriations in 20th century painting.