What are some of the great movements in art and music?  Find out about exceptional masterpieces and explore the stories behind artists, composers and musicians who created these famous works in the Art + Music Insight series; Elevenses at The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith.

]There will be eight sessions of Elevenses at The Joan in 2020, happening once a month on a Wednesday and will see the return of Lecturer of Music Dr Paul Smith (University of New England); and Sheona White, Director of Penrith Regional Gallery, along with a selection of new keynote speakers from established Arts and Music backgrounds. 

Denise Mimmocchi, Senior Curator Australian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales will discuss the work of sculptor Margel Hinder on 8 April, with Musician and Lecturer of Classical Music Andy Bromberger speaking about the development of music notation over the last 4000 years on 8 July. Lorraine Kypiotis, Senior Lecturer Art History and Theory, the National Art School and popular guest lecturer at the Art Gallery of NSW, will lead audiences through an art insight into the Inspiring Women of the Renaissance period on 5 August. 

Sessions begin at 11am with refreshments and a light morning tea, and finish at 12.30 with a short break in the middle. Each talk will incorporate a short Q&A at the end.

The full annual programme for Elevenses at The Joan in 2020 will be as follows;

Wednesday March 11 – the Milestones and Mayhem of Opera
DR PAUL SMITH Lecturer of Music, University of New England. With guest singer TBA
While opera conjures a specific image of grand choruses, large orchestras and thrilling voices, the history of opera paints a chequered and constantly shifting picture. In different parts of the world and at different times the way an opera looked and sounded could be surprisingly stark. While a common practice developed in the late 19th century, over the past half a century many artists have toyed with the form and stretched it to its limits. This talk covers the main milestones of opera from the 17th century and considers the changing roles of the singers, conductors and directors of operas. 

Wednesday April 8Margel Hinder: Modern Art in Motion
DENISE MIMMOCCHI Senior Curator Australian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Margo and Gerald Lewers, whose heritage property and art collection was bequeathed to Penrith for the Penrith Regional Gallery, home of the Lewers Bequest, were great friends with sculpturist Margel Hinder. Margel Hinder (1906–95) initially worked in woodcarving in the 1930s but by the early 1950s she shifted to an abstract sculptural language that explored form, space, light and movement. She created commanding kinetic works whose slow rotations encapsulate a sense of the world in perpetual motion. Denise will share her insights and wealth of knowledge on Margel, one of the most dynamic yet underrated artists in Australian art. 

Wednesday May 13Silenced Voices Musical Censorship and Orchestral Protests
DR PAUL SMITH Lecturer of Music, University of New England

Many composers across Europe, America and Australia have had their music banned at different points in time. This talk looks at specific examples of why governing powers have taken a keen interest in art music and sought to silence the voices of certain composers whose work, they felt, had the ability to rouse anti-national urges or speak out against power. Some composers obeyed, some disobeyed and others found ways to navigate these tricky waters producing music that requires more investigation. This talk will look at the music of Scarlatti, Prokofiev, Blitzstein, Mozart, and Shostakovich.  

 Wednesday June 10Grace Cossington Smith, Australia’s first Post- Impressionist painter.
SHEONA WHITE – Director, Penrith Regional Gallery

 “Grace Cossington Smith (1892–1984) is one of Australia’s most important artists; a brilliant colourist, she was one of this country’s first Post-Impressionsts. She is renowned for her iconic urban images and radiant interiors. Although Cossington Smith was keenly attentive to the modern urban environment, she also brought a deeply personal, intimate response to the subjects of her art. Among the recurring themes are the metropolis and Sydney Harbour Bridge, portraits, still life, landscapes, religious and war subjects, theatre and ballet performances, and domestic interiors infused with light.” – National Gallery of Australia

Wednesday July 8Development of Musical Notation over the past 4000 years
ANDY BROMBERGER – Musician and Lecturer of Classical Music 

Musical notation was not invented until the end of the first millennium- meaning that society’s general understanding of music from the past is very limited. In the late 900 AD, a rogue monk named Guido made three incredible inventions – including notation. The ramifications of this invention completely changed the concept, structure and importance of music and still does today. Andy will discuss the development of music from the period it existed without formal notation to how notation has impacted on music today. 

Wednesday August 5Inspiring Women Artists of the Renaissance
LORRAINE KYPIOTIS – Senior Lecturer Art History and Theory, the National Art School 

There were great women artists in the Renaissance, though rarely heard of. During this time art played a critical role in society, especially in disseminating the fame of the artist. In this respect, portraiture, a new and burgeoning genre was of great importance in defining the role of the Renaissance virtuosa. It is testament to the artistic passion of these Renaissance women that they managed to work as artists at all. Lorraine will speak to how and why Women Artists of the Renaissance are being revealed and revered in current society.  

Wednesday September 16Film Music; the Most Amazing Music You Barley Notice
DR PAUL SMITH – Lecturer of Music, University of New England. With guest cellist TBA

If asked what the main melody sounded like from the most recent film at the cinema, one might have trouble recalling exactly what the music sounded like. Claudia Gorbman, one of the first film music researchers, argued that film music should be ‘unheard’ and that it guides the audience through the emotional narrative but never upstages the visual spectacle of the film. Film music has developed and moved through many different forms and this talk will examine the origins of film music in early 20th century America, into the golden age for film music in the 1980s and 1990s and look at some current trends and experiments as well as some of the extensions into television and video games.    

Wednesday October 14Margaret Preston – An Australian Vision

SHEONA WHITE – Director, Penrith Regional Gallery

“One of Australia’s most significant artists, Margaret Preston was a key figure in the development of modern art in Sydney from the 1920s to the 1950s. Renowned for her paintings and woodcuts of local landscapes and native flora, she was an outspoken public voice on Australian culture and championed a distinctly Australian style, based on the principles and motifs of modernist, Aboriginal and Asian art.” – Art Gallery of new South Wales

Tickets $15 per talk or $96 for a subscription to all eight talks; ticket price includes elevenses, comprising light refreshments. 

To book please call the Box Office on 02 4723 7600 or visit www.thejoan.com.au 

Sydney Arts Guide has one subscription pass to give away to the season of talks. 

Email editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com with JOAN  TALKS in the subject heading. The winner will be advised by email.