Breath, Flight and Atmosphere: the Theme of Air in British Culture
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Who this event is for
Royal West of England Academy, Queen’s Road, Bristol
Coinciding with a major exhibition – Air: Visualising the Invisible in British
Art, 1768-2017 (17 June–3 September) – the Royal West of England Academy is
hosting an interdisciplinary one-day symposium in partnership with Oxford
- Christiana Payne, Professor of History of
Art, Oxford Brookes University
- Sam Smiles, Professor Emeritus of History
of Art, University of Plymouth
- Stephen Jacobson, Vice-President, Royal
West of England Academy
Air is everywhere. The air we breathe is
essential to human, plant and animal life; its quality is a fundamental
ingredient of our health and that of the planet as a whole. The air above us is
a region of wonders and dangers: hot air balloons and aeroplanes, flying
creatures and bombing raids, luminous colours and evocative clouds. It is not
surprising that artists have often been fascinated by this kind of subject
matter. From experiments with air-pumps in the eighteenth century, through the
sky paintings of Turner and Constable and the polluted cityscapes of Grimshaw
and Lowry, to the wartime perils and the exhilaration of flight in the
paintings of Ravilious and Lanyon, British artists have found many varied
sources of inspiration in the air.
Contemporary artists tackle similar themes, with an emphasis less on
flight, which is no longer a novelty, than on the nature of breath and the
connections between air and health.
This one-day symposium complements the exhibition,
which includes works by Joseph Wright of Derby, J. M. W. Turner, John
Constable, Samuel Palmer, John Everett Millais, Christopher Nevinson, Eric
Ravilious and Peter Lanyon along with work by contemporary artists.
The symposium seeks to create dialogue
between practising artists, curators, writers, academics and students from
disciplines including history of art, cultural studies, geography, history,
literature, environmental humanities and philosophy.
Call for papers
250-word abstracts for 20-minute papers should
be sent to Christiana Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org,
to arrive no later than Tuesday 31 January 2017.
contact the RWA for further information:
Edwards, Learning and Participation Manager email@example.com
West of England Academy, Queen’s Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1PX