Sunday, 22 March 2009

Design at the Oxford Literary Festival

Some suggestions for events at the Oxford Literary Festival, Christ Church, Oxford 29 March–5 April

Thursday 2 April

Stuart Sillars | The Illustrated Shakespeare, 1709–1875 | 10am Blue Boar Marquee, Christ Church £7.50

Building on his earlier book Painting Shakespeare, Stuart Sillars’s The Illustrated Shakespeare, 1709–1875 takes a fresh look at the tradition of visual criticism and assimilation of Shakespeare’s plays. In his talk based on his highly illustrated book, he helps us to see what Shakespeare’s readers saw when they opened their editions across two centuries and found images as well as dialogue.

Kenneth Powell | Powell and Moya | 2pm Blue Boar Marquee, Christ Church £7.50

Powell and Moya were one of Britain’s most significant postwar architectural practices, and in this comprehensive and engaging book, their history has been chronicled for the first time the eminent architectural author and critic Kenneth Powell. Founded in 1946, the practice rapidly established a reputation for an approach best described as ‘humane modernism’. Structured by building type, this book reveals the principles of design particular to Powell and Moya and tells how they were at the forefront of hospital design and succeeded in bringing modernism to Oxford and Cambridge.

Friday 3 April

Richard Ovenden | The Future of the Past: The Bodleian’s Great Acquisitions | 4pm Bodleian Library, Divinity Schools, Catte Street £7.50

Richard Ovenden was educated at Durham University and University College, London and has worked as a professional librarian since 1985. He has served on the staff of the House of Lords Library, the National Library of Scotland, at the University of Edinburgh, and now at the Bodleian Library (as Keeper of Special Collections and Associated Director of Oxford University Library Services). Richard has published widely on the history of collecting, the history of photography and on professional concerns of the library, archive, and information world. He holds a Professional Fellowship at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. Richard will talk on the Bodleian’s great acquisitions. The library has recently benefited from Alan Bennett’s gift of his literary archive, and has been able to save for the nation the earliest surviving score of an opera in the English language, Cavalli’s Erismena.

The Book is Dead: Long Live the Book | Chris Meade, Kate Pullinger, and Bryan Appleyard | 6pm McKenna Room, Christ Church £7.00

Is literature as we know it really moving from printed page to networked screen – or is this just hype? Our panel will examine the impact of the internet (the ‘read/write web’), and other new media on the book. It will debate whether fiction is becoming interactive, collaborative and non-linear, and how new technologies such as e-readers and print-on-demand machines are changing the way we read, write and consume literature. Panellists include Sunday Times critic Brian Appleyard, Chris Meade, former director of the Book Trust, now director of If:Book, a ‘think and do tank’ exploring the impact of new media on reading and writing, and writer Kate Pullinger, whose novels include A Little Stranger and www.inanimatealice.com, a multimedia graphic novel in episodes. Chaired by Lucy Atkins.

Sunday 5 April

David Gentleman, Brian Webb, and Peyton Skipwith | Design | 2pm Festival Room 1, Christ Church £7.50

The renowned Design series grew out of an exhibition and its catalogue at the Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Waldon, celebrating the centenaries of Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious. Peyton Skipwith’s and Brian Webb’s latest book on Curwen Press covers the work of the groundbreaking printing house, which listed many of the early 20th century’s best-known designers, artists and illustrators among its contributors. David Gentleman has designed British postage stamps and a platform-length mural on the London Underground. There have been many exhibitions of his landscape watercolours and architectural lithographs; his posters have been carried on marches protesting against the wars in Iraq and Gaza. Here he, Brian Webb and Peyton Skipworth talk about the design of the past and present and its impact on our lives.

David Gentleman | 6pm Junior Common Room 7.50

David Gentleman has travelled widely and has written and illustrated books on Britain, London, Paris, India, Italy and Anglo-American relations. He has designed British postage stamps and a platform-length mural on the London Underground. There have been many exhibitions of his landscape watercolours and architectural lithographs; his posters have been carried on marches protesting against the wars in Iraq and Gaza. He will talk about designing for benign and toxic purposes, the pleasures and stresses of drawing as a job in which his only regular commuting has been upstairs to his studio, and the inseparability of art and design.

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