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Unwrapping art

With Jonathan Cooper

Enjoy art, but not sure how to approach it? Like an artwork but not sure why or if there’s more to it?

Follow Jonathan Cooper in this series which makes the seemingly complex simple. Whilst art over many centuries and cultures will be presented, the approach will be based more on ideas rather than traditional art history.

Jonathan will present six lectures, each one seeking answers and exploring the concepts behind what is in front of you and how to develop a better appreciation of it.

Saturdays 2pm
2-23 August, 6-13 September 2014

Single session:
$35 non-member
$25 member

Full series:
$175 non-member
$125 member

Bookings and enquiries: 02 9225 1878


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Use the link above for series booking

Three full working days (Mon–Fri) notice is required to qualify for a refund. All refunds attract an administration charge of 25% of the ticket price(s) with a minimum charge of $5. With subscription tickets there are no refunds for single sessions, unless a session is cancelled. Not negotiable.

Duration 1 hour
Location: Centenary Auditorium

What's it all about?

In this lecture we will examine some myths and half-truths about art, such as 'To properly appreciate art you need to know its historical background’ or 'It’s all subjective’. You will also be given some skills to help you find your own authentic, personal responses to art.



Saturday 2 August 2014 2pm – 3pm

Is it meant to look like that?

What distinguishes one artist’s art from another’s? How does an artist transform a random slice of reality into art? In this lecture we will look at the role of artistic intention and the many different ways that artists balance the two competing qualities of unity and interest in their work.



Saturday 9 August 2014 2pm – 3pm

You call that art?

More than a century after Picasso’s first shocking abstractions, many of us still struggle with art that does not resemble, or even represent, visual reality. In this lecture we will consider why this is and how it happened, and look at some surprising cross-overs between traditional, modern and post-modern art.



Saturday 16 August 2014 2pm – 3pm

The artist's toolbox: space

While you don’t have to be an artist to appreciate art, some insight into an artist’s 'bag of tricks’ can be enlightening, and enjoyable. In this lecture we will explore various techniques artists use to create – and exploit – the illusion of depth on a flat surface, including some interesting alternatives from different cultures. We will also see what happens when artists start to play games with space and our perception of it.



Saturday 23 August 2014 2pm – 3pm

The artist's toolbox: colour and sculpture

Apart from subject matter, no aspect of painting affects us as emotionally as colour. In the first part of this lecture you will learn how to describe colour more meaningfully, and discover the differences between 'local’, 'received’ and 'expressive’ colour. In the second part, we will explore the language of sculpture, including the effects of materials and technique, the balance between mass and space, and the role of gravity.



Saturday 6 September 2014 2pm – 3pm

Meet the artworks

In our final lecture, we will draw together the threads of previous weeks, to apply them to the very enjoyable task of appreciating art. Firstly, you will learn how to 'read’ a gallery, or gallery room, to find relationships between artworks. Then you will spend some extended time getting to know a few unfamiliar artworks. Finally, because art is more fun shared, you will be presented with some simple communication techniques, to help you discuss art in a more interesting and meaningful way.



Saturday 13 September 2014 2pm – 3pm