May

‘Childhood chronicles’

Wednesday, 22nd

18.00 BST

From Childhood to Adulthood – the Long Shadow of Where You Grow Up

In this talk, we’ll discuss how where people grow up can leave an indelible mark on their life’s journey. Using a variety of sources and compelling research, we’ll uncover the ways that living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods can impact individuals’ chances in life, from childhood to adulthood, and even affect their children’s futures.

Thursday, 23rd

18.00 BST

Redefining Childhood in 18th-century art

In this lecture, we will discuss the transformative impact of philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ideas on the portrayal of children in art during the 18th century. Rousseau’s philosophies inspired artists to depict children with newfound authenticity, emphasizing their purity, spontaneity, and inherent connection to nature.  We will also examine the  influence of these artistic representations on shaping the concept of the ‘ideal childhood,’ which emerged as a cornerstone of French revolutionary thought.

Monday, 27th

19.00 BST

Japanese Calligraphy – ‘play’

This session is a journey of creativity, self-expression and boundless energy and curiosity of youth through the artful strokes of the brush. Through the lens of 遊ぶ (play) we’ll explore the joy and spontaneity of play, infusing our artwork with a sense of wonder and adventure. Join us as we unleash our imagination and let the ink flow freely, celebrating the art of 遊ぶ in all its vibrant forms.

Tuesday, 28th

19.00 BST

Alice in Wonderland

Step into the rabbit hole of our childhood’s most beloved literature and join us for an enchanting lecture on Lewis Carroll’s timeless classic, Alice in Wonderland. This online journey will explore all the curious and charming characters, the imaginative landscapes, and the intricate wordplay that have captivated readers for generations. This lecture will offer fresh and magical insights into the novel’s enduring legacy in popular culture.

Wednesday, 29th

18.00 BST

Becoming a Better Creative Problem Solver through Steampunk Art and Design

Steampunk fuses art, technology and history, and necessitates multi-directional, divergent or opposite thinking. It combines opposites of Past and Present/Future; Form and Function; Art and Science; Human and Machine; and Mechanical and Botanical. In this lecture, steampunk artist Bruce Rosenbaum will give you insights to use opposite thinking in your passions, work and life.

June

‘Icons and Idols’

Tuesday, 4th

19.00 BST

From Pixels to Popularity: The Phenomenon of Virtual Idols in Japan

Join us online as we delve into the fascinating world of virtual heroes, exploring iconic figures such as Hatsune Miku and others who have captured the hearts and imaginations of fans worldwide. Discover the link from the Japanese traditional performance art, evolution, and cultural significance of these virtual characters, from their emergence in the software to their widespread popularity in music, gaming, and beyond.

Thursday, 6th

18.00 BST

The New Goddesses

Mythic Goddesses represent a type of archetypal presence in the world which has been expressed through a range of attributes and qualities. That presence continues to be with us in figures ranging from Helen Mirren to Beyonce, from Michelle Yeoh to Taylor Swift. Come join us and explore how ancient Goddesses archetypes such as Athena, Aphrodite, and Artemis are very much with us today.

Monday, 10th

19.00 BST

Japanese Calligraphy – ‘craft’

Japanese Kanji, “芸” (Gei) carries various meanings related to art, talent, skill, or performance. This character is significant in Japanese culture, especially in contexts where creativity and mastery are celebrated, such as traditional arts like tea ceremony, calligraphy, ikebana (flower arranging), and martial arts like karate and judo. It represents the pursuit of refined expression and the dedication to perfecting one’s craft.

Wednesday, 12th

18.00 BST

Superstar: What Andy Warhol know about contemporary celebrity

During this lecture will discover the world of Andy Warhol’s art, offering insights into his profound understanding of the role of media in shaping contemporary celebrity culture. The talk will examine Warhol’s iconic silkscreen prints and groundbreaking film work. Through an in-depth analysis of his portrayals of iconic figures such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, we’ll gain valuable insights into Warhol’s prophetic vision of contemporary media culture. 

Monday, 17th

19.30 BST

Poetry Reading: idols and icons

Join our next Poetry Reading session and enjoy new poem selection exploring heroes of our contemporary culture, the idols and icons of our times. We will read the following works:

  • London, 1802 – William Wordsworth
  • The Day Lady Died – Frank O’Hara
  • Blonde Bombshell – Lynn Emanuel
  • Hollow – Vanessa Kisuule

Tuesday, 18th

18.00 BST

Idols, Icons and Stars: Exploring Visual Activism Across Film and Media

In this talk we will discuss our cultural idols, who we fall in love with and fictional characters in films as well as the artists who shape those roles. We’ll also be thinking about iconic figures behind important political and social moments, from Hollywood’s #metoo to Iran’s woman, life, freedom movement. We’ll finish the talk with a case study of one of Iran’s most beloved filmic characters as we explore her social, cultural, and political significance within the framework of stardom.  

Wednesday, 19th

18.00 BST

What’s in a Brand? — The Iconic Power of Corporate Colors

In contemporary culture, certain brands ascend to the status of idols and icons through the lens of materialism, where their perceived value extends beyond mere products to symbolise status, success, or identity. As these corporations know, modern color is big business, and in this session, we will discuss the rise of brand colors, consumers’ evolving relationships with specific hues, and how companies use color to create deep connections with their products.

Tuesday, 25th

18.00 BST

Marina Abramović, the cult of the hero

The making of Marina Abramović as an icon, an idol, a brand has grown the moment she landed in America. Her show in MOMA reaffirmed the artist’s capacity for endurance and interpersonal engagement, but also revealed the powerful appeal of the idol, the ever-expanding cult of celebrity, and the current love to share every single minute and every aspect of our lives with everyone. In this one hour talk we look at the work of the incredible charismatic Abramović, where life is art and art is life.

Wednesday, 26th

18.00 BST

The On-Screen Anti-Hero

This session will consider the rising popularity of the anti-hero across film and television and to some extent, computer gaming. It will question why viewers and gamers are drawn to morally questionable characters in popular culture. During this talk we will explore some of the reasons audiences and players are drawn to this content, the concept of bad fans and the blur between heroic and anti-heroic figures. 

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