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Friday, 28 August 2020

Art on Tour Talk

 Katie Ackrill and Mags Parker were invited to give us a  talk via Zoom on Thursday 6 August to explain what the Art on Tour project was intended to achieve, and what has happened since it was partially hijacked by everything closing down due to Covid 19. Katie and Mags were appointed at the end of 2019 . Both appointments were part time, and with a slightly different emphasis,  Katie Ackrill is the Project Engagement Officer for Art on Tour, which aims to help more people in more places engage with Swindon's collection of modern British art, in unique and meaningful ways. Katie has an MA in Art History from the University of Reading, leads Art History leisure courses at New College, Swindon. Mags Parker is the Learning Officer for Art on Tour and has developed materials for use in schools and other educational settings.

'Art on Tour at Home' is a digital engagement and education project, which brings Swindon's nationally significant art collection to audiences in the comfort and safety of their own homes. This includes art appreciation in the form of the Art Snaps podcast and the Art on Tour Blog, and access to a large number of family activities and education resources, including a Families in Residence Programme. I have engaged most with the art snaps podcasts and wrote about them here until I couldn't keep up with the sheer output. They are well worth watching, and I will catch up with them.

Katie and Mags took us through the history of the project via a series of slides which I photographed, and here thye are in order. I had hoped we would have been able to record the talk, but apologies in the heat of changing hosts, we didn't manage to do that.
So you can see the point of the project, it was to go out into schools and other places...
There are exhibitions in STEAM and at the Civic Offices through the sliding doors. I'm not sure if the Civic Offices is accessible yet.
Examples of works at the Civic Offices include 'Aerobots' by David Bent and 'Icelandic Scene' by Roy Bizley

Katie and Mags had worked with various venues where works could be loaned out and displayed. I'm not sure how the insurance and transport and security would work, but these were the suggested partners

Above is a list of all the activities and things Mags and Katie have done since they started, the job hasn't been what they expected to be doing, but they have certainly achieved a lot.
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I think there are two more artsnaps since they recorded the talk
I have written posts about the Swindon Spring Festival talk and the wonderful Great British Art Quiz in the Guardian. Wasn't that a pleasant surprise?
Lastly they reminded us that we can find them on Facebook, Instagram and the Museum and Art Gallery website
Great to hear about this initiative while the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery remain closed due to Covid restrictions.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Caspar David Friedrich a leading figure in the German Romantic movement

We were very pleased to welcome Jeremy Holt back to give a second Zoom talk on 15 June to a group of Friends sitting comfortably in their own homes. This time Jeremy talked about the life and work of the artist Caspar David Friedrich, he began by telling us that he was bottom at art in school, and doesn't have an artistic bone in his body, however David ticks all the boxes for him. It's always good to hear people talking about their enthusiasms. There were of course photos, this I think is a self portrait.
David's early life was marred by tragedy, he lost two sisters to smallpox and typhus and his mother died when he was 7, and his brother drowned when he was 13, and another brother committed suicide in his late twenties. This was the official summary of his life:
In 1808, David painted 'Monk by the Sea which gives an idea of his original style:
When he was born, Greifswald was in Sweden, and this most famous painting, seen below, 'Wanderer above the Sea of Fog' seen below and painted in 1818 shows someone wearing old fashioned German clothes which wasn't allowed apparently. I'm not sure what happened if you wore the clothes or painted someone wearing them, I must ask Jeremy.
This painting below was painted after he go married aged 44 to Caroline who was 25, the woman on the left is wearing a bright pink dress, a change from the more sombre colours used before his marriage. If David is on the right, looking out to see, I'm not sure who is in the middle?
This is another example of David's work where he has used colour in the woman's dress.
I'll finish by showing a portrait of David by Gerhard von Kugelgen
I'll also include a quote from Brittanica:
'Caspar David Friedrich, (born September 5, 1774, Greifswald, Pomerania [now in Germany]—died May 7, 1840, Dresden, Saxony), one of the leading figures of the German Romantic movement. His vast, mysterious, atmospheric landscapes and seascapes proclaimed human helplessness against the forces of nature and did much to establish the idea of the Sublime as a central concern of Romanticism.'
And finish by thanking Jeremy for a fascinating talk which can be seen here: