Shoalhaven (Berry/Nowra)

ArtsNational Shoalhaven welcomes you. 

In 2024, ArtsNational Shoalhaven (formerly known as ArtsNational Shoalhaven) will commence its 34th year of offering members and guests programs of informative and interesting lectures covering a range of subjects relating to fine, decorative, contemporary and creative art forms. We will host nine lectures, and a half interest day, with presenters from the U.K. Arts Society and Australian lecturers who are art professionals chosen for their expert knowledge in their fields.

The monthly meetings are a wonderful and informal way to make friends and to get to know others in the community. The meetings are usually held at the Berry Uniting Church Hall in the historic township of Berry.

New members are always welcome.


Lectures are held at the Berry Uniting Church Hall, 71-77 Albert Street, Berry.

Lectures are on a Thursday from 7:30pm.

Find full details of the 2024 program here

Annual membership
$150 per person
$75 for Students (up to University Level)
Click here to join or email Richard Wiseman on

Guests welcome:
$25 per lecture
$15 Student guests per lecture

For all enquiries, please email Richard Wiseman on
Postal Address: PO Box 269, Berry NSW 2535
ABN: 847 194 381 395

Co-Chairs: Nicholas and Rosalind Drake
Treasurer: Mary Seelis
Membership: Richard Wiseman


Thursday 22 February 2024
Presented by Richard Travers
Venue & Time: Berry Uniting Church Hall, 71-77 Albert Street Berry, 7.30pm
Visitors $25 and Student Visitors $15

A review of the achievements of Australian artists painting during the Great War, from Tom Roberts, George Coates and Arthur Streeton, who served as wardsmen in a military hospital in London, to Hilda Rix Nicholas, who suffered great personal loss, to George Lambert, who painted Anzac Cove in 1919, to Grace Cossington Smith, who recorded life on the home front.

Richard Travers practised as a trial lawyer for more than 40 years. He was a member of the New South Wales bar and a partner in national law firm, Clayton Utz. He taught administrative law at the UNSW Law School. As historian, Richard Travers is the author several books including: Diggers in France: Australian Soldiers on the Western Front, and Above the Mists of Ages: The Anzac Legend in Historical Practice, to be published later this year.

Thursday 21 March 2024
Presented by David Worthington
Venue & Time: Berry Uniting Church Hall, 71-77 Albert Street Berry, 7.30pm
Visitors $25 and Student Visitors $15

Damien Hirst is the most famous British artist since Henry Moore. Not even Francis Bacon had such a huge international presence. And yet in his home country he is often seen as a practical joker, pulling the wool over the eyes of the public, and not making proper art at all. This lecture aims to dispel this and show that he is a deeply serious artist making work that is significant and influential.

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.

Thursday 11 April 2024
Presented by Karen Pearlman
Venue & Time: Berry Uniting Church Hall, 71-77 Albert Street Berry, 7.30pm
Visitors $25 and Student Visitors $15

Australian cinema gained international recognition in the 1970s and 80s with period dramas like “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” “My Brilliant Career,” and “Breaker Morant,” portraying a lyrical and bittersweet image of Australia. In the 1990s, “The Glitter Cycle” brought a contrasting image, featuring films like “Strictly Ballroom,” “Muriel’s Wedding,” and “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” showcasing a vibrant and rebellious Australia. While box office success waned in the 90s, a new wave emerged with attention on Indigenous filmmakers. Films like “Samson and Delilah,” “The Sapphires,” and “Mystery Road” offer complex, poetic perspectives, reflecting a diverse narrative in Australian cinema. This lecture explores the evolution of storytelling and the portrayal of Australia across these cinematic waves.

Karen Pearlman is a filmmaker, researcher, and author known for her trilogy of award-winning short films on historical women editors. Her works have garnered 32 national and international awards, including recognition for editing, directing, and documentary categories. Her 2020 film, ‘I Want to Make a Film About Women,’ received an Oscar longlisting and an Australian Academy Award nomination. Pearlman authored the widely used textbook ‘Cutting Rhythms’ and has reached over a million viewers through collaborative research communication videos titled ‘The Science of Editing’ on YouTube.

Thursday 30 May 2024
Presented by Andy McConnell
Venue & Time: Berry Uniting Church Hall, 71-77 Albert Street Berry, 7.30pm
Visitors $25 and Student Visitors $15

René Lalique was the 20th century’s greatest glass designer/entrepreneur. Lalique’s extraordinary work was unrivalled, combining his unique visual sense with a perfect understanding of glassmaking technologies and revolutionary approach to marketing. This talk is a visual feast, covers Lalique’s early work in jewels and furniture before he dedicated the remainder of his life, c1905-45, to glass. His output spanned simple, pressed cosmetic pots through car mascots and stemware to the unique cire perdu [lost wax] vases that today can command tens and even millions of pounds.

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.


Thursday 27 June 2024
Presented by Claudia Chan Shaw
Venue & Time: Berry Uniting Church Hall, 71-77 Albert Street Berry, 7.30pm
Visitors $25 and Student Visitors $15

What began as a childhood obsession with Humphrey Bogart led to a lifetime of collecting. Claudia Chan Shaw is a self-confessed Collectomaniac who discovered that she was not alone in her obsessions. One in three people collect something, gathering everything from Biggles books, Bakelite radios to perfume bottles and antiques. Join Claudia as she takes us into the mind of the collector.

Claudia Chan Shaw has a multi-faceted career. She is co-host of television program, Antiques DownUnder and was co-host of ABC TV’s popular program, Collectors. Her book Collectomania navigates the curious world of collectors. Claudia presents Arts Friday, 89.7fm Eastside Radio and leads Art Deco tours around the world for the Art Gallery Society NSW. She is co-designer and director for acclaimed Australian fashion label, Vivian Chan Shaw.

Thursday 1 August 2024
Presented by John Stevens
Venue & Time: Berry Uniting Church Hall, 71-77 Albert Street Berry, 7.30pm
Visitors $25 and Student Visitors $15

The architecture of Mughal India, palaces, mosques, gardens and mausoleums. Before the British arrived in India, the Indian subcontinent was ruled by the Mughal Emperors. The stunning buildings and gardens they constructed from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century have left an indelible stamp on India’s architectural and cultural landscape. This lecture will take you on a tour of some of India’s greatest and most beautiful buildings and provides insight into the historical contexts and colourful personalities involved in their construction.

Dr John Stevens is a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London. His PhD in History is from University College London. He teaches British Imperial history, Indian history and Bengali language, and is a regular visitor to India and Bangladesh.

Thursday 29 August 2024
Presented by Vivienne Lawes
Venue & Time: Berry Uniting Church Hall, 71-77 Albert Street Berry, 7.30pm
Visitors $25 and Student Visitors $15

This lecture explores how the East India Company developed its methods of trade and facilitated the increasingly sophisticated and profound exchange of ideas between East and West. It focuses on textile design as the vehicle for this analysis, but also includes other materials, such as wallpaper, porcelain and furniture, as well as the vast commercial trade in spices and tea Concentrating at first on the 17th century textile trade with India, the lecture then turns to the 18th century and the trade with Imperial China. The distinction is drawn between export trade and evolving Western culture.

An art historian, art market analyst and curator/ writer, Viv Lawes combines a hands-on career in the art business with research and teaching in Higher Education at several London-based universities. Her courses include The Art Market, History of Western Art and Design 1350-1970, and Asian Art. Viv has curated numerous exhibitions of Southeast Asian contemporary art in London and Singapore.  She writes for many publications and private clients, for both academic and general readership. 

Friday 30 August 2024
Presented by Vivienne Lawes
Venue & Time: Berry Uniting Church Hall, 71-77 Albert Street Berry, 10am
Members $20, Visitors $35

This half-study day explores that the Aesthetic Movement and the Arts & Craft Movement were two sides of the same coin: Design Reform. The sense that the 19th century did not have its own identity, and was a maelstrom of competing revivalist styles, gave rise in the aftermath of the Great Exhibition of 1851 to the determination to find aesthetic codes that represented modern Britain.

Lecture 1: 10:00-11:00am
FREEDOM IN REFORM: The Aesthetic Movement (c.1860-1890)
‘Art for Art’s Sake’ was the motto of celebrated aesthetes like Oscar Wilde and the Oxford academic Walter Pater, who pushed against conventional life in Victorian England. The Aesthetic Movement was all about the pursuit of beauty, resulting in the production of artworks that were unashamedly gorgeous. Favourite motifs such as the lily, sunflower and peacock adorned many of the objects, while artists such as James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Aubrey Beardsley and Frederic Lord Leighton seduced the senses – sometimes outraging conventional tastes.

Morning Tea: 11:00-11:30am

Lecture 2: 11:30-12:30pm
INTEGRITY IN REFORM: The Arts & Crafts Movement (c.1870 –1900)
The Arts & Crafts Movement, like the Aesthetic Movement with which it was contemporaneous, was a reaction against the revivalist styles that dominated mid-19th century Britain. The leaders of the movement, most famously William Morris, believed in the moral purpose of art, the integrity of the craftsperson and the intrinsic beauty of materials. It became a key signatory of reformist style and its legacy is still felt in design today.

Thursday 3 October 2024
Presented by Rosalind Whyte
Venue & Time: Berry Uniting Church Hall, 71-77 Albert Street Berry, 7.30pm
Visitors $25 and Student Visitors $15

At the beginning of his career, Romanian sculptor Brâncuși spent a couple of months working in Auguste Rodin’s studio, leaving because of his conviction that Nothing can grow under big trees.” Breaking out from beneath Rodin’s shadow, he became one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century and a pioneer of modernism. His work was so radical and simplified that it caused controversy, not least when American customs officials refused to accept his Bird in Space as a work of art at all! We will explore his life and career and feature some of his key works. 

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. 

Thursday 7 November 2024
Presented by Paul Chapman
Venue & Time: Berry Uniting Church Hall, 71-77 Albert Street Berry, 7.30pm
Visitors $25 and Student Visitors $15

Picasso’s Guernica (1937) is considered by many to be his greatest masterpiece. Painted as a reaction to the bombing of the Basque town during the Spanish Civil War, it shows the horror, cruelty and devastation of modern warfare. The painting also explores many themes – love, death, nationhood, motherhood and Picasso’s own life at that time. The painting is also full of cross references to the history of art. Guernica has a history of its own once it left Picasso’s studio, and its story continues. A painting worth spending some time to get to know a little better.

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.