MENU THE ARTS SOCIETY MALMESBURY
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DateLecture
11 February 2020The Empty Chair in Art: From Van Gogh to Ai Weiwei
10 March 2020A Concise History of our Great British Public Parks
14 April 2020Islamic Art: Exploring the Decorative Arts of the Islamic World
12 May 2020An Easy Day for a Lady: The Dress of Early Women Mountaineers 1850-1914
09 June 2020'Debo' - Mitford, Cavendish, Devonshire, Duchess and Housewife 1920-2014
14 July 2020Signs, Signals and Iconography: The Hidden Stories in Art

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The Empty Chair in Art: From Van Gogh to Ai Weiwei Angela Findlay Tuesday 11 February 2020

We all use chairs! But over the past 150 years, artists across the world have been using the humble chair as a conduit for profound ideas on themes from protest, absence and memory to domestic or everyday life.

In Germany, Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys used empty chairs to draw attention to their nation’s past, while Gerhard Richter used them to explore the mundane. In a conceptual piece, the American artist, Joseph Kosuth, juxtaposed three versions of chairs to question what “chair” actually is. The Palestinian artist, Mona Hatoum, adapted chairs to explore female identity and the Columbian artist, Doris Salcedo, stacked 1,550 between two buildings to address migration and displacement.

These are just some of the many diverse artists and uses of chairs we will be looking at in this talk. As in all my lectures my personal connection, as an artist who has worked with chairs throughout her career, will aim to bring the subject alive.

Angela Findlay

Angela is a professional artist, writer and freelance lecturer with a long standing interest in the role the arts and the creative process can play in bringing about changes, on a personal level or within societies. Her long career of teaching art in prisons and Young Offender Institutions in Germany and England, followed by her role as the former Arts Coordinator of the Koestler Trust in London, gave her many insights into the huge impact the arts can have in terms of rehabilitation. She is currently advising the Ministry of Justice and presenting the case for the arts to be included in their new rehabilitation and education policies.

In the past decade Angela’s Anglo-German roots led her to discover and research Germany’s largely unknown but fascinating post-WWII process of remembrance. So completely different to the British one, the arts once again play a huge and vital role in expressing the apology and atonement that underlies the country’s unique culture of memorials and counter memorials.

Angela has a BA(Hons) in Fine Art, a Diploma in Artistic Therapy (specialising in colour) and her paintings are widely exhibited both nationally and internationally.