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Centre for Visual Arts and Culture

CVAC Events Listing

Saturday 21 October 2017

Caring for Brutalism - Day Conference in Durham

10:15am to 5:15pm, Elvet Riverside 201

Sponsored by:

Durham University, Centre for Visual Arts & Culture, Durham City Trust & The 20thCentury Society.

Open to the public. Free to attend. Register Online Now. NOW IN LARGER VENUE - Additional spaces avaliable.

This day conference will consider the current question of 20th Century concrete architecture and its conservation. Brutalism was an important aspect of post-WWII architecture, especially in the UK. As these buildings become historic, they face urgent questions of conservation, regeneration or demolition. Although never a popular style, many with a training in architecture regard Brutalist buildings as possessing unique aesthetic merit. Their beauty often relates to medieval architectural forms, drawing on the Gothic in ways comparable to Modernist architecture’s relationship to Classicism. Durham contains medieval architecture of world importance that is valued and protected accordingly. The fate of the most significant 20th Century building on the university estate, however, is uncertain, and the future of Dunelm House is currently part of the national conversation around questions of how and whether to care for concrete buildings. Regeneration is possible, as with The National Theatre in London or Apollo Pavilion, Peterlee. Alternatively, demolition may be justified, as with the “Get Carter” Car Park, Gateshead. This conference brings together leading experts on 20th Century concrete architecture in the UK, to explore issues of aesthetic appreciation, cultural value, and the criteria by which university, civic and national communities decide to conserve architecture.

The day will include a tour of Dunelm House.

Confirmed Speakers

John Allan (Conservation Architect)

Barnabas Calder (Liverpool University, author of Raw Concrete)

Catherine Croft (Director, 20th Century Society)

Alistair Fair (University of Edinburgh, on post-1945 university architecture)

Elaine Harwood (Historic England, author of Space, Hope & Brutalism)

Martin Roberts (Durham, author of Buildings of Durham University)


Contact cvac@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Tuesday 31 October 2017

The Naked City: New York Modernism 1845 / 1919 / 1947 with Professor Peter Hulme

6:00pm to 8:00pm, Elvet Riverside 201, Professor Peter Hulme

Peter Hulme, a profoundly influential figure in both English and Hispanic Caribbean studies, is Emeritus Professor in Literature at the University of Essex. He has contributed extensively to the fields of Renaissance and anthropological studies, comparative colonial and postcolonial studies, travel writing and literary theory.

Contact f.j.adrian@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Friday 3 November 2017

POSTPONED: The Apparelled Body: Materiality, Transformation and Performativity

9:00am to 4:00pm, Kenworthy Hall, St. Mary's College

Tuesday 21 November 2017

IAS Molecules and Models - Seeing Structures

Kenworthy Hall, St. Mary's College, Professor Ludmilla Jordanova and other contributors

25 PLACES AVALIABLE. Register for your place here.

Organised by the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture(CVAC) as part of the Institute of Advanced Study Theme for 2017-18 Structure

Molecular models participate in attempts to understand the structure of matter; they are one of the most recognizable of scientific artifacts, featuring, for example, in Maggie Hambling’s celebrated portrait of Dorothy Hodgkin and in the much-reproduced photograph of Watson and Crick beside a model of DNA. There is now an extensive scholarly literature on models in general and on specific ones, such as DNA. The meeting will consider the specifically visual properties and impact of molecular models, for example, in advertising and popular culture.

Questions to be addressed include:

What roles have molecular models played in scientific practice?

How do they help us understand the nature of that practice?

What roles do they play in non-specialist representations of science?

How do they illuminate the theme of ‘structure’?

Might studies of molecular models and representations of them help us understand ‘visual thinking’?

For the full programme, click here.

Contact cvac@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Wednesday 22 November 2017

IAS Molecules and Models - Seeing Structures

Kenworthy Hall, St. Mary's College, Professor Ludmilla Jordanova and other contributors

25 PLACES AVALIABLE. Register for your place here.

Organised by the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture(CVAC) as part of the Institute of Advanced Study Theme for 2017-18 Structure

Molecular models participate in attempts to understand the structure of matter; they are one of the most recognizable of scientific artifacts, featuring, for example, in Maggie Hambling’s celebrated portrait of Dorothy Hodgkin and in the much-reproduced photograph of Watson and Crick beside a model of DNA. There is now an extensive scholarly literature on models in general and on specific ones, such as DNA. The meeting will consider the specifically visual properties and impact of molecular models, for example, in advertising and popular culture.

Questions to be addressed include:

What roles have molecular models played in scientific practice?

How do they help us understand the nature of that practice?

What roles do they play in non-specialist representations of science?

How do they illuminate the theme of ‘structure’?

Might studies of molecular models and representations of them help us understand ‘visual thinking’?

For the full programme, click here.

Contact cvac@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Friday 24 November 2017

Visual methods in participatory research: ethical and practical issues in working with refugees and other groups

11:00am to 4:00pm, St. Marys College, Durham

The Centre for Social Justice and Community Action and CVAC are delighted to co-sponsor this workshop.

The event is free, but BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. Lunch included. Please book early as places are limited to 50. Please book using this link.

This workshop aims to explore some of the ethical and practical issues in participatory research using visual methods, particularly with refugees and other groups whose voices are seldom heard. It is a joint venture between the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action and the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture, Durham University. Our first keynote speaker is Dr Caroline Lenette (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia), who is particularly concerned with the ethics of using visual methods to document refugee and asylum seeker narratives through community-based participatory research and practice. We will then hear about the practical and ethical navigation of an arts/research partnership in a project on belonging among resettled Syrian young people in Gateshead, UK with Caitlin Nunn (Durham University), Vikas Kumar (Gem Arts), a representative from the Gateshead resettlement team, Isabel Finch (Independent artist) and representatives from Syrian youth participants. In the afternoon there will be a choice of workshops, offering the opportunity to hear about, try and evaluate a variety of participatory visual methods and approaches (e.g. photography, film, performance). For more information please contact Sarah Banks.

Contact socialjustice@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Monday 4 December 2017

Behind the Scenes at the Museum with Dr Gus Casely-Hayford. The Art of Abolition: Telling a Difficult Past in a National Museum

6:00pm to 8:00pm, Dr Gus Casely-Hayford

The lecture is inspired by work Dr Casely-Hayford is currently doing for the National Portrait Gallery in London to develop an exhibition that will tell the story of the abolition of slavery through portraits. When viewed through the aperture of portraiture, the story of the abolition of slavery is a strange, complex, counterintuitive narrative. At its core is the recognition that the status quo needed to be vigorously challenged, of 'the Great and Good' gradually becoming won over to the cause of Abolition in the mid and late 18th century, of the anti-slavery causes gaining popular support, of Bills being repeatedly rejected by the House of Lords, but of an undeniable groundswell of political and popular support building inexorably toward eventual success in the first decades on the 19th century. Yet simultaneously, despite this hard fought and laudable campaign, despite the wide support, it is strangely a time when increasingly intense racist and proto-eugenicist views became widely held and acceptable. Painting is an effective medium for charting this story; portraiture vividly captures the rise of a newly monied slave-trading classes, shows how the influential establishment families invested in and benefited from the trade and then gradually divested as they found their places amongst the abolitionists – but also crucially of how portrait painting played a part in the abolitionist cause, yet was then brutally turned against the victims of the slave trade.

Contact cvac@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Tuesday 5 December 2017

Behind the Scenes at the Musuem Masterclass with Dr Gus Casely-Hayford

9:00am to 11:30am

Dr Gus Casely-Hayford is a cultural historian who writes, lectures and broadcasts widely on culture. He has presented two series of The Lost Kingdoms of Africa for the BBC and has worked for every major British TV channel. Over the course of the last year he was awarded a Kings College honorary fellowship for service to the arts, a SOAS Honorary Fellowship, gave a SOAS Centenary lecture, judged the Art Fund’s British museum of the year, advised the Royal Shakespeare Company on their production of Hamlet and joined the Blue Plaque Group. He wrote and presented a six-part TV series on British Landscape Art for Sky Arts, called Tate Britain: Great British Walks, he contributed to a landmark PBS TV series on African history, a Discovery Channel series on World Culture and delivered a Ted Global talk. He is currently expending the majority of his energies in the development of a National Portrait Gallery exhibition that will tell the story of abolition of slavery through 18 and 19th century portraits, is alsoa trustee of the National Trust, a Caine Prize Trustee, sits on the Tate For All Board and is writing a Ladybird expert book on Timbuktu.


Tuesday 23 January 2018

THE BODY INSIDE-OUT. ANATOMY, MEMORY, AND SCULPTED INNARDS AT MAUBUISSON ABBEY (1253-1652)

5:00pm to 9:00pm, Palace Green Learning Centre , Jack Hartnell

CVAC and IMEMS are delighted to host Jack Hartnell from the University of East Anglia.

The now-destroyed Abbey of Maubuisson, situated just northwest of Paris,
was a religious foundation that over the centuries created a unique visceral
visual culture. By charting a long history of the institution from the
thirteenth to seventeenth centuries, this paper examines Maubuisson’s bodies -
figures formed of painted wood, marble, gilded copper, and raw preserved flesh
- to unearth a long-standing proclivity at the abbey for flipping the human
form inside-out, a distinctly anatomical instinct at work across Maubuisson’s
medieval and early modern history.

Contact cvac@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Monday 11 June 2018

CVAC Advisory Board and AGM

9:00am to 5:00pm, Ustinov and Turner Rooms, Van Mildert

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Visual Intersections III

9:00am to 5:00pm, Business School

Thursday 12 July 2018

Visual Intersections III

9:00am to 5:00pm, Business School

Friday 13 July 2018

Visual Intersections III

9:00am to 5:00pm, Business School

Portraiture Conference

5:00pm to 5:00pm, Business School , Porfessor Ludmilla Jordanova and other contributors

Contact cav@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Saturday 14 July 2018

Portraiture Conference

5:00pm to 5:00pm, Business School , Porfessor Ludmilla Jordanova and other contributors

Contact cav@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Sunday 15 July 2018

Portraiture Conference

5:00pm to 5:00pm, Business School , Porfessor Ludmilla Jordanova and other contributors

Contact cav@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.