Art + Music Talk at The Joan

Find out about exceptional masterpieces and explore the stories behind artists, composers and musicians who created famous works in this series

What are some of the great movements in art and music? And why are they significant?

Enjoy eight enlightening mornings of insight and discovery. Sessions begin at 11am and finish at 12.30pm with a short break in the middle.

Each talk will incorporate a short Q&A at the end. Scroll down to see details on each talk. 

Book your favourite single talk or all 8 talks as a package and save!

Wednesday 10 March 11am – Minimalism and the Emancipation of Musical ‘Simplicity’ (Dr Paul Smith DCA, BMus (Hons), Lecturer of Music, University of New England)

In the middle of the 20th century, a new style of art music surged in popularity bringing waves of new audiences to concert halls around the world. This breakout musical style was described as minimalism and drew on principles from the broad art scene. It promoted a highly focused and carefully crafted structure of music which used very direct harmonies and rhythms at its forefront. To date, minimalism has a devoted fan base which exists slightly adjacent to the regular concert-going public. This lecture will examine some of the theorised origins of minimalism, breakdown key musical terms such as ‘phase’ and ‘cell’ with examples, and look at the lasting techniques in a post-minimalist musical world.

Wednesday 14 April 11am – Margel Hinder: Modern in Motion (Denise Mimmocchi, Senior Curator Australian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales)

Denise Mimmocchi has curated the first dedicated retrospective of the work of sculptor Margel Hinder. Margo and Gerald Lewers, whose heritage property and art collection was bequeathed to Penrith for the Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest, were great friends with Frank and Margel Hinder. Margel’s striking sculpture in the garden of Penrith Regional Gallery has travelled to the AGNSW to be included in this retrospective. Denise shares her insights and wealth of knowledge on Margel, one of the most dynamic yet underrated artists in Australian art. The AGNSW exhibition dates are 30 January to 2 May 2021.

Margel Hinder (1906–95) initially worked in woodcarving in the 1930s but by the early 1950s she shifted to an abstract sculptural language that explored form, space, light and movement. She created commanding kinetic works whose slow rotations encapsulate a sense of the world in perpetual motion.

Wednesday 12 May 11am – The Art Song (Dr Paul Smith DCA, BMus (Hons), Lecturer of Music, University of New England)

The Art of Song is a music talk part of Blush Opera’s Fantasy Song & Arias performance at The Joan.

Wednesday 9 June 11am – Margaret Preston: An Australian Vision (Sheona White, Director Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest)

“One of Australia’s most significant artists, Margaret Preston, was a key figure in the development of modern art in Sydney from the 1920s to the 1950s. Renowned for her paintings and woodcuts of local landscapes and native flora, she was an outspoken public voice on Australian culture and championed a distinctly Australian style, based on the principles and motifs of modernist, Aboriginal and Asian art.” – Art Gallery of New South Wales

Wednesday 14 July 11am – How did the invention of a recording device impact Classical Music? (Andy Bromberger, Musician and Lecturer of Classical Music)

It has only been in the last 130 years that we have had the technology to hear ourselves. This new invention, originally invented to transmit speech, totally revolutionised the way we listen. Where once, a group of select people may have heard a piece of music once in their lifetime, we can now hear almost anything we want, whenever we want it. What have been the ramifications of this invention for this listener, the musician making the music and the composer?

Wednesday 11 August 11am – Grace Cossington Smith, Australia’s first Post-Impressionist painter (Sheona White, Director Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest)

“Grace Cossington Smith (1892–1984) is one of Australia’s most important artists; a brilliant colourist, she was one of this country’s first Post-Impressionsts. She is renowned for her iconic urban images and radiant interiors. Although Cossington Smith was keenly attentive to the modern urban environment, she also brought a deeply personal, intimate response to the subjects of her art. Among the recurring themes are the metropolis and Sydney Harbour Bridge, portraits, still lifes, landscapes, religious and war subjects, theatre and ballet performances, and domestic interiors infused with light.” – National Gallery of Australia

Wednesday 15 September 11am – The Piano, the Composer and the Performer (Andy Bromberger, Musician and Lecturer of Classical Music)

The piano was invented about 300 years ago. There were keyboard instruments before this time but none gave the composer both the ability to play dynamics and a sound loud enough for a concert performance. Then the piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in 1700. Its impact on the musical has been likened to the invention of the steam engine in the industrial world.

Wednesday 13 October 11am – Inspiring Women Artists of the Renaissance (Lorraine Kypiotis, Lecturer and Outreach Coordinator, National Art School)

Lorraine is a senior lecturer in Art History and Theory at the National Art School in Sydney where she also manages metropolitan, regional and interstate art programs. Lorraine is a popular guest lecturer at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and leads tours to Italy. She is a regular guest on ABC Nightlife speaking on art historical topics including Michelangelo’s David; Leonardo da Vinci and the Last Supper; the Stolen Mona Lisa; Botticelli’s Venus; Women in Art; and Art, Feminism and the Rokeby Venus.

There were great women artists in the Renaissance though we have rarely heard of them. During this time art played a critical role in society, especially in disseminating the fame of the artist. In this respect, portraiture, a new and burgeoning genre was of great importance in defining the role of the Renaissance virtuosa. It is testament to the artistic passion of these Renaissance women that they managed to work as artists at all and now their stories are more and more being revealed and revered.