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2023/2024 Illustrated Talks

Conference Crowd

Venues will change depending on the lecture.
We will announce the venue here on the website,
by newsletter and on our facebook page well in advance.

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Tuesday 27th February 2024

Talk by Jeremy Black

The Name's Bond

Venue: Hugo Investing
Urb. La Carolina, Edf Aries, local N
29602 Marbella,
Málaga Spain 

Doors open 6pm for complimentary glass of wine or beer
Lecture commences at 7pm
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After Churchill, James Bond is the most iconic Brit of the last century and with Star Wars the most successful film franchise. Drawing on his two books on Bond and his book on the Cold War, Jeremy Black looks at how Fleming created an agent for the Cold War and how that role subsequently changed.

The relationships between Fleming, Bond, the Cold War and British politics are considered. So also with the development of the film franchise in terms of  Anglo American relations and American concerns. The illustrated talk extends to the social and moral politics of sex gender class and race.

In conclusion the future of Bond is considered and he is contrasted with Poirot as another iconic figure in his field.

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Tuesday 19th March 2024

Talk by Jane Tapley

Taking the Waters: Social Life in the Spa Towns from Roman Times to the Present Day

Venue: Hugo Investing
Urb. La Carolina, 
Edf Aries, local N
29602 Marbella,
Málaga Spain 
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The origins of Britain’s Spas go back to pre-Roman times when they developed from mineral springs or holy wells associated with local myths. During the 16C the Tudors started taking the waters as standard medical practise. Then in the 18C the Spa towns were transformed into fashionable watering places for Georgian society who gathered there to dance, gamble, gossip and flirt as well as to take the waters. Splendid architecture, extensive parks and colourful gardens were created to attract the Beau Monde to these beautiful towns. Twelve of these exist today amongst the most famous being Bath, Cheltenham, Harrogate, Buxton and Malvern.

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Tuesday 30th April 2024

Lecturer: Paul Chapman

Picasso and Modern British Art

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Picasso remains the twentieth century’s single most important artistic figure, a towering genius who changed the face of modern art. His influence on modern British Art is undoubtable, artists like Wyndham Lewis, Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Francis Bacon and David Hockney have all been indebted to the works of Picasso. Each one of these artists had an epiphany moment when confronted by Picasso’s work. Throughout the 20th century the shape shifting Spanish artist had an enduring influence on these major British artists. We can see how each artist took from and then adapted Picasso’s work, to create their own unique versions of Modern British Art.

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Tuesday 28th May 2024

Lecturer: John Ericson

Art Inspired by Wine


In this lively presentation John shares his knowledge and enthusiasm for wine and the contribution that ‘wine art’ makes to our colourful world. Wine can be a civilising influence upon us and it is made to be shared and enjoyed. As a consequence there are numerous wonderful paintings of wine being made and wine being drunk in celebration but it also lends itself to wicked cartoons and striking posters. In addition we shall examine wine labels from around the world which now display such style and creativity.

Meet our Experts

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Caroline Holmes

Caroline has lectured in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Europe, Japan and on cruises to the Baltic, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Indian Ocean. In 2017 she returned to The Arts Society in New Zealand. Lectures for the University of Cambridge ICE (Course Director for International Summer Programme), the Royal Horticultural Society, museums, and specialist travel companies. Consultant designer specializing in evoking historic, artistic and symbolic references. Author of 11 books including Water Lilies and Bory Latour-Marliac, the genius behind Monet’s water lilies; Impressionists in their Gardens; Follies of Europe: Architectural Extravaganzas; Monet at Giverny and Icons of Garden Design. Theatre productions: How does your garden grow Mr. Shakespeare and Impressionists in their Gardens: living light and colour. Presenter and contributor on television and BBC Radio 4. 2017 recipient of the Herb Society of America ‘Elizabeth Crisp Rea Award’.

Jeremy Black

Black is a prolific lecturer and writer, the author of over 100 books. Many concern aspects of eighteenth century British, European and American political, diplomatic and military history but he has also published on the history of the press, cartography, warfare, culture and on the nature and uses of history itself.

Jeremy Black is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Exeter.  Graduating from Cambridge with a starred first, he did postgraduate work at Oxford, and then taught at Durham, eventually as professor, before moving to Exeter in 1996.  He has lectured extensively in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the USA, where he has held visiting chairs at West Point, Texas Christian University, and Stillman College.  He was appointed to the Order of Membership of the British Empire for services to stamp design.

Jane Tapley

Jane is currently Special Events Organiser, Theatre Royal Bath. Interviews visiting actors, writers, directors. Lectures regularly to theatre going societies, NT and history and fine arts groups. West Country Tourist Board Registered Blue Badge Guide and Lecturer. Author and researcher of theatre programme notes on Hamlet, Sheridan's The Rivals and Jane Austen's Emma. Theatrical landlady! Home Economist. Consultant to various TV productions of Jane Austen adaptations on food in the 18th and 19th centuries. Hosts and cooks period meals in her Regency house in Bath for the Jane Austen Festival and other literary groups.

Paul Chapman

Paul is an Art Historian and a National Gallery trained guide with many years of experience working in education. As a freelance Paul delivers courses and lectures for a wide range of educational organisations. Paul has also given talks and tours for art associations/ societies in Museums and Galleries in the UK and Europe. As a writer, Paul has published a book, which examines the subject of cultural crossovers and appropriations in 20th century painting. Paul has a long-standing commitment, in conjunction with the National Gallery as a tour guide at the Longford Castle art collection and he is also a visiting tutor at Marlborough College and a tutor at MCSS.   

John Ericson


Formerly a lecturer at the University of Bath where he was Director of Studies in the School of Education with responsibility for the professional development of teachers. He has worked extensively overseas as an educational consultant and this has given him the opportunity to give lectures and presentations at conferences all over the world. Illustrated and presented with warmth and humour.

Image by Robert Keane
For those members who cannot wait a whole month for a cultural "fix", click here for an up-to-date listing of art exhibitions and other cultural events in the local area - kindly supplied by the Sur in English.
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