Organised by the Bristol and Bath Volunteer Fundraising Committee

Lecture series

  • Redland Quaker Meeting Rooms (Bristol) or BRISLI (Bath) |
  • Lecture |
  • 23 February 2017, 2 March 2017, 5 April 2017 - 19:00 until 21:00

The Artist, The Cathedral, The Harbour and the Pawnbroker Tony Marwick MA History of Art 
(1) Thursday 23 February 2017- Bristol
(2) Wednesday 5 April 2017- Bath  

William Matthew Hale was born and died in Bristol. He was the son of the rector of Claverton, Bath and his ashes are interred in Bath’s Lansdowne cemetery. He is a Victorian artist about whom hardly anything has been written- despite him being well known in his time, and so well considered he was invited to become vice-president of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1909. He exhibited extensively throughout the world. Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, the Royal West of England Academy and Victoria Art Gallery hold several of his works in both oil and watercolour. He travelled extensively throughout Europe producing landscapes of the scenes he encountered.  

The subject of this illustrated talk is a painting of Bristol docks, possibly never exhibited, kept in the basement of the RWA since 1904: a painting superficially of Bristol’s prosperity but which covertly implicates many of the social issues facing late Victorian Bristol. The talk will be illustrated with many of Hale’s works and works by other artists, old contemporaneous photographs of Bristol, and illustrations from Victorian magazines.

The question asked: is this a painting of prosperous Bristol or of Michael Jessel’s pawnbroking shop and what does it tell us about late Victorian society?  

Tony Marwick, recently completed an MA in History of Art at Bristol University. Tony Marwick lives and works in Bristol. For 10 years he was Managing Director of a graphic design company. He has travelled extensively, including 12 years working in Japan, and two years in Hungary. This has underpinned his study and appreciation of art from many cultures. He takes a social art historian’s approach to painting. He enjoys posing questions about individual paintings outside of the usual canon of famous works and artists.

(3) Beagle Channel to the Arctic Ocean by Land Rover 43,500 miles in 54 years - Michael Andrews
Thursday 2 March 2017- Bristol

In 1960, at the age of 21, Mike Andrews (Bath and Bristol Art Fund Committee Member) set off with three friends from university on the Cambridge Trans American Expedition. They shipped a Land Rover to Buenos Aires and drove south to Tierra del Fuego before heading north on some of the worst roads in the world. Crossing the Andes over a dozen times, they hunted with gauchos, rode across mountains to the southernmost ranch in the world, got stuck axle-deep in high-altitude salt flats, ascended to 17,000 feet, and had to be dragged out of a river in Costa Rica by oxen, having forded 42 others. Delayed by constant breakdowns of the vehicle, they drove up the Alaska Highway in December until the icy road ran out in Fairbanks.  

Fifty years later, Mike wrote up the trip for a Land Rover magazine, and was amazed when somebody in Alaska emailed to say that he had the original Cambridge blue vehicle – complete with its original expedition insignia. Mike and his surviving two original companions were invited by Alaskans to complete their trip – by driving their original vehicle to the Arctic Ocean 500 miles north of Fairbanks on the Dalton Highway, built in 1975 – also known for the TV programmes Ice Road Truckers. The Dalton Highway ends at the petroleum contractors’ Deadhorse Camp, and here they had a major set-back. BP flatly refused permission for them to drive the last dozen or so miles to Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic Ocean. How they overcame that to reach the Beaufort Sea is all part of a most unusual adventure story which will be told in this illustrated lecture.  

In the intervening half century, Mike built on his close encounters with the Andes to make the celebrated wildlife series The Flight of the Condor, about the wildlife of the Andes, for the BBC Natural History Unit. Mike gave a series of three very popular illustrated lectures on The Flight of the Condor for Art Fund a few years ago.

This event has been organised by the Bristol and Bath Volunteer Fundraising Committee to help raise money for the Art Fund.

Venue details

Redland Quaker Meeting Rooms (Bristol) or BRISLI (Bath)
Bristol