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DateLecture
28 May 2019Soviet Central Asian Mosaics
23 April 2019Art and Illusion: Stage Scenery from Sophocles to Spiderman
26 March 2019Constable in Brighton
26 February 2019The Italian Job
22 January 2019The Textile Arts of Mexico
27 November 2018AVM Curiosities:food, art and history
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24 July 2018Banks, Burgundy and Piracy
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22 May 2018The Marianne North Collection
24 April 2018Satirist to Insanity : cartoons of James Gillray
27 March 2018The Art of Paula Rego
27 February 2018Great Lengths : the history of lidos
23 January 2018Pots and Frocks : Grayson Perry
28 November 2017The Inventors of Christmas
24 October 2017The Art of the Joke
26 September 2017Glorious Things : Discovering Byzantium Through Its Art
25 July 2017Foreigners in London 1520-1677
27 June 2017The Great Exhibition
23 May 2017Empowering People : the Real Voice of Street Art
25 April 2017William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement
28 March 2017Inspired by Stonehenge
28 February 2017Getting Under Their Skins : Finding Character and Story in Renaissance Art
24 January 2017Art in Venice : Poets, Painters and Private Lives in Venice
22 November 2016Oh Yes It Is! A History of Pantomime
26 July 2016Women Artists and Impressionism
24 May 2016John Singer Sargent : Power of the Portrait
26 April 2016The Collection of Napoleon and Josephine
22 March 2016The Art of Arabic Calligraphy
24 November 2015A Christmas Pie
27 October 2015The Strange History Of Buckingham Palace
22 September 2015Art Therapy in Society
28 July 2015"Now You See It"
23 June 2015Stanhope Forbes : A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach - The Authority of the Gaze
26 May 2015The Art and Architecture of the Khmer Empire
28 April 2015Eric Ravilious : A Life in Pictures
24 March 2015Man's Real Best Friend : Horses, Art and History
24 February 2015Contemporary Art and the Old Masters : Lessons Learned and Rejected
27 January 2015Charles Darwin and the Voyage of The Beagle
25 November 2014Twentieth Century Sculpture
28 October 2014What is Truth? The Development of Narrative Art in Italy in the Age of Giotto

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Soviet Central Asian Mosaics Chris Alexander Tuesday 28 May 2019

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE VENUE WILL BE BOXGROVE VILLAGE HALL FOR THIS LECTURE - REMINDERS WILL BE GIVEN AT MEETINGS PRIOR TO THIS DATE.

 

Chris was born in Turkey (hence his middle name) and spent his childhood there and in war-torn Beirut. After school, Chris spent two years at sea before studying Media and journalism at Leicester University. He then moved to Khiva, a desert oasis in Uzbekistan, establishing a UNESCO workshop reviving fifteenth century carpet designs and embroideries, creating income for women. After a year in the UK writing A Carpet Ride to Khiva, he moved to the Pamirs in Tajikistan, training yak herders to comb their yaks for their cashmere-like down, spending three years there. Next came two years in Kyrgyzstan living in the world’s largest natural walnut forest and establishing a wood-carving workshop. Chris has recently finished rowing and studying at Oxford and is now a curate at St. Barnabas, North Finchley, and author of Alabaster and Manacle. He returns to Central Asia whenever he can and conducts tours there.

This lecture explores the birth of the Soviet mosaic from its roots in Islamic mosaics and Communist propagandist posters through to the question of preservation in post-Soviet Central Asia. We explore why Soviet thinking was so keen to bring art out of galleries and into public spaces, and how, in an era when Socialist Realism was the only permitted artistic expression, every public artwork came with a message, a value and an agenda. How did Soviet artists deal with the uncomfortable reality that Muslim Central Asia was a Russian colonial conquest? In what ways were gender, race, work, leisure and achievement important when it came to shaping Central Asians’ ideas of their own identity within the wider Soviet family?