This lecture takes the form of a mythical journey into the heart of matter from the surface of the earth down into the dark depths of its core. Artists from the past and present will be our guides.
We begin by making comparisons between Prehistoric Celtic earth monuments with the art of contemporary land artists such as Richard Long and Andy Goldsworthy.
From burial mounds dedicated to the Earth Goddess to art made with an ecological conscience.
Some artists go down into the earth to make their art, such as Tom McGuinness, a County Durham miner, and Henry Moore in the London Underground during the Blitz.
The earthly pleasures of food and sex are painted with delight and horror. We can see this in the contrasts between Hogarth and Renoir, Soutine and Francis Bacon.
Childbirth and illness are explored by Edvard Munch and Paula Rego.
Rembrandt’s self-portraits record with honesty and compassion his own descent into old age and his painting of the “Anatomy Lesson” is a graphic reminder of how we will all end up, lying horizontal on a cold slab!
I hope this lecture won’t have that effect on you!