Thursday 10 January
From Philip Webb to Passivhaus, an architect’s exploration
Thursday 24 January
Straw bale building
Barbara will explore the use of straw as the material of choice for passive standard pre-fabricated and artisan building in the UK. Combined with other natural materials, it creates excellent indoor air quality. Straw also has a negative carbon footprint, and could replace the use of concrete and brick, even in high-rise buildings, dramatically reducing the industry’s carbon emissions.
Thursday 7 February
Triumph of the immaterial
Responding to the natural world around her, Phoebe’s work interprets art and design sources, including porcelain sculpture, botanical illustration, prints and architectural ornament. She was awarded the 2018 BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Craft Prize, in partnership with the V&A and the Crafts Council.
Thursday 21 February
Founded in 2010 to undertake a single self-built project, Assemble has since delivered a diverse and award-winning body of work, whilst retaining a democratic and co-operative working method that enables built, social and research-based work at a variety of scales, both making things and making things happen.
Thursday 7 March
Nicholas Fox Weber
Anni Albers ( 1899-1994) and the Bauhaus
Starting at the Bauhaus in the 1920s, Anni Albers explored textile techniques and unprecedented juxtapositions of material to create both beautiful art works as well as functional materials of unique grace and charm. Later in life, she approached printmaking with this same passion for experimentation and for exploring the unknown. Weber, who knew Albers well for nearly twenty-five years, makes her work as well as her personal courage, humor, and tenacity come alive.
Thursday 21 March
Julia Dwyer, Sue Ridge and Andrew Thomas
The Embroidered Minds collaboration involves writers, artists, designers, doctors and historians in exploring epilepsy, its treatment, and William Morris’s family: Morris’s daughter Jenny developed the condition in 1876. Morris’s company at 26 Queen Square (1865-1881) was next to the new National Hospital, then pioneering neurology and the treatment of epilepsy. Embroidered Minds has illuminated the Morris’s stories and early neurology, producing a serialised novel, an exhibition at UCL Queen Square (2015-16), and an artisan garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2018.
Thursday 11 April
The Arts and Crafts movement in Scotland
As in London and the south, Arts and Crafts ideas flourished in Scotland between the 1880s and 1914, involving architects, professional and amateur designers and makers, the art schools and the newly-formed Scottish Home Industries Association. Working together and apart to revitalise British design, they produced work with a distinctive Scottish identity. Annette is the author of The Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland (Yale University Press, 2013).
Thursday 2 May
Bro. Nina Bilbey
Stone carving: the art of collaboration
Nina will talk about two pivotal commissions, the making and installation of a large heraldic bear and statues of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Through examples of documentary photography, she will explore the important role of collaboration and its continued impact on her own career, celebrating this often overlooked part of the creative process.
Thursday 16 May
Bob Essert and Anne Minors
User-driven collaborative design
Bob and Anne have worked on many opera houses and other performance spaces throughout the world. Called Sound Space Vision, their design ethos uses sound and vision as both constraints and inspiration.
Thursday 6 June
William Morris and his Palace of Art
Red House, Bexleyheath, was the only house commissioned by William Morris and the first independent architectural work of his close friend, Philip Webb. It stands as the physical embodiment of his youthful ambition, passionate medievalism and collaborative nature, and recent research has revealed much new evidence about his emerging taste in the 1860s.
Thursday 20 June
Bro. Katharine Coleman
On falling into a gold mine
Originating from hardstone seal engraving, traditional glass engraving techniques using copper wheels still have a place and voice in contemporary glass. An accidental encounter with known, but hitherto unexplored, optical effects in glass has proved a rich seam for Katharine to explore during her career as a glass engraver.
Thursday 4 July
The British mosque: an architectural and social history
The British Mosque (Historic England Publishing, 2018) describes the evolution of Britain’s Muslim communities through the buildings they have built. The architectural story charts a course from the earliest mosques formed from the conversion of houses, to other large scale conversions through to purpose-built mosques and with these the emergence of an Islamic architectural expression in Britain.
Thursday 26 September
Making carnival and theatrical costumes
Carnival is a fusion of costume, movement, dance and street theatre. Clara’s costumes are envisaged as a moving character seen in the round, with both a sculptural and a live element, where the performer can improvise, bringing the spirit of Carnival to life.
Thursday 10 October
Experiences and aesthetics of Asian femininity
Since the mid-1980s Chila has been exploring the experiences and aesthetics of Asian femininity in paintings and installations, photography and printmaking, video and film.
Challenging stereotypical assumptions of Asian women, her work is informed by popular culture, Bollywood, fashion, found objects, the celebration of femininity and gender and identity politics.
Thursday 24 October
Jessica will speak about her mother, the photographer Helen Muspratt (1907 – 2001), whose most important work was carried out in the 1930s when, in collaboration with Lettice Ramsey, she set up a studio in Cambridge. Inspired by the work of Man Ray, they experimented with new techniques such as solarization and multiple exposure, resulting in memorable images.
Thursday 7 November
Bro. Kirsty McDougall
Textile design and manufacture: collections, collaborations, commissions
Kirsty co-founded Dashing Tweeds with Guy Hills in 2006 where she designs seasonal fabric collections and liaises with manufacturers. More recently, she co-founded Rare Thread with Laura Miles where they work collaboratively on collections and projects as well as retaining autonomy on other aspects of their practice. Kirsty has also taught for many years; recent research projects include the application of new technologies to woven structures.
Thursday 21 November
Women in Arts and Crafts church art
Lynne Walker asks why was there so much good Arts and Crafts church art designed and made by women, when the Church was itself a fundamental source of women’s subordination. The wide range, quality and abundance of work will be explored, from a royal sculptor at St. Paul’s to woodcarving sisters in the West Country.
Thursday 12 December
Annual General Meeting (Members only)