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Thursday 25 April 10.30am

The Arts Society Enfield: Giles - his life, times and cartoons

St Paul's Centre, 102a Church St, EN2 6AR  

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The cartoonist, Carl Giles, once said that he loved his creation, Grandma Giles – that fearsome, black-clad, gambling, drinking battleaxe – because she allowed him to say things through his cartoons that he was too polite to say in person. She helped him to poke fun at authority in all its forms, from Hitler to traffic wardens and even his employers at the Daily Express, who didn’t trust him and had sub-editors scouring his cartoons for subversive background details.

His admirers include Prince Charles, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Tommy Cooper, and it was no surprise when he was voted Britain’s best-loved cartoonist in 2000. Few people realise, however, that this likeable and humane satirist was also a war correspondent who witnessed the horrors of Belsen, where he found that the camp commandant, Josef Kramer, was also a great fan of his work. Giles gave us a remarkable picture of a half-century of British life. He was also, as his editor John Gordon put it “a spreader of happiness’ and ‘a genius…with the common touch’.

Barry Venning is an historian of British art with a particular interest in the work of JMW Turner, on whom he has published widely, including the volume on Turner in Phaidon's Art & Ideas series, and several catalogue essays for exhibitions in the UK, Germany, Italy and Poland. He was the BBC's script consultant on Turner's Fighting Temeraire and has recently taken part (2013) in a BBC documentary called The Genius of Turner: Painting the Industrial Revolution. He has also published a study of John Constable's paintings. His interests and his teaching extend from medieval architecture to contemporary British art. He is currently Associate Lecturer with the Open University and lecturing on a freelance basis for The Arts Society, Christie's Education and other organisations.

Coming up later

DateLecture
30 May 2019 Norman Wilkinson: a dazzling artistic career.
27 June 2019 The Treasures of Livery Company Halls
25 July 2019 Phrases and Sayings: The Etymology of the City of London.
26 September 2019 Food and Art though the Ages
31 October 2019 AGM with shorter lecture from Andrew Spira
28 November 2019 The Two Gustav's: Mahler and Klimt
12 December 2019 Is Christmas in Good Taste?

Lectures are held at the St Paul’s Community Centre Church Street Enfield EN2 6AR on the last Thursday morning of each month except December when it is earlier (No meeting in August).

  • Coffee 10am – 10:30am
  • Notices 10:35 am
  • Lecture 10:40 am

Guests are welcome at £6.00 per head

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