Art has always been part of history. But we often think of it as outside history. When we look at a painting by Raphael, Rembrandt or Rubens it speaks to us directly, but it’s also an historical document, part of a living world. The Oxford art historian takes us on an extraordinary trip through art, from devotional works to the revolutionary techniques of the Renaissance, from the courtly Masters of the C17th through to the daring avant-garde of the C20th and beyond.
‘Small is beautiful’ was the rallying cry of the early environmental movement, whilst cynics dismissed it as a lot of hippy dreaming. Now small, it seems, is back and going Big. Small scale renewable energy technologies like solar and wind, along with the huge progress in battery storage, are now fast becoming some of the cheapest sources of electricity on the planet. How long before every home becomes its own power plant, every home owner their own power company? And how long before local green energy sources combine with digital technologies and 3-D printing to revive local manufacturing? Can small really stay beautiful, or will big prove to be best? Chaired by Writer and Green Futurist, Martin Wright.
Sara Fanelli divides her time between self-generated projects and commercial illustration commissions from clients including the New Yorker, Tate Modern and the Victoria & Albert Museum. She has written and illustrated a number of highly original and acclaimed children’s books, including The Onion’s Great Escape and has twice been the winner of the Victoria & Albert Museum’s illustration award. Lauren Child is one of the most remarkable and original children’s book author/illustrators working today. Creator of Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and most recently her new Ruby Redfort series, she has won numerous awards including the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal and the Smarties Gold Award. Her books have been a huge success around the world. Join Sara and Lauren for a thought-provoking, informative and engaging conversation about words and pictures. Chaired by Alison Gwynn.
John presents her novel The Haunting of Henry Twist – a mysterious love story set in 1926 that recalls the power and strangeness of Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Arnott’s The Fatal Tree is set 200 years earlier and is about the true story of Edgeworth Bess, which mesmerised C18th society: a riveting, artful tale of crime and rough justice, love and betrayal. Rich in the street slang of the era, it vividly conjures up a murky world of illicit dens and molly-houses; a world where life was lived on the edge, in the shadow of that fatal tree – the gallows.
Ideas about states of emergency went back to the politics of Ancient Rome in which it was said that ‘necessity knows no law’. This idea took on a series of different meanings during the early modern period and was employed by the Jacobins during the invasion scare of 1793–94. In 1848 the idea was employed again to justify emergency rule after the June uprising in Paris, but in its later usages, particularly by Marx, the idea was inverted. It was no longer emergency that justified dictatorship. Rather, dictatorship was posited as a desirable outcome in a transition to new forms of society.
Goldring was posted in Bangladesh before returning to the UK to become CEO of Oxfam. He is joined by the cultural producer, writer and entrepreneur Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi and K Anis Ahmed, author of The World in My Hands. They discuss the crises and opportunities of one of the world’s most dynamic countries.
Eight years ago the creators of TV hits Shine On Harvey Moon and Birds Of A Feather had supper with Alan Ayckbourn at Kilvert’s Hotel after their festival sessions. He suggested they write for the theatre. They currently have two musicals running in the West End – Dreamboats And Petticoats and Save The Last Dance For Me – and an adaptation of their Goodnight Sweetheart on the way. They talk to Peter Florence.
Wolves are the stuff of children’s fiction. Join award-winning illustrator William Grill and author Katherine Rundell as they discuss their respective books and the enduring fictional appeal of wolves. The Wolves of Currumpaw is the winner of the 2017 Bolognaragazzi Non-Fiction Award. Chaired by Jonathan Douglas, director of National Literacy Trust
The co-director of the Serpentine Gallery is one of the art world’s most colourful characters, with an encyclopedic knowledge of art practice and history. He offers a riveting and inspiring understanding of the role of the curator in shaping culture. He talks to Hannah Rothschild.
The authorised biography of the Tottenham, Arsenal and England defender is a frank and often blistering account of a life lived between the soaring heights of celebrity football and the despairing depths of personal trauma. He talks to the author of Wenger.
Part guide to the best practice in every aspect of working with this renewable energy source, part meditation on the human instinct for survival, Mytting’s definitive handbook on the art of chopping, stacking and drying wood in the Scandinavian way has resonated across the world.
The NHS collects people’s confidential data to provide their care but how else is it used? Should people be able to opt out of uses of their health data for purposes such as medical research, improving public services or commercial uses? Dame Fiona Caldicott is the National Data Guardian for Health and Care in England; Sir Nick Partridge is the former CEO of the Terence Higgins Trust and Dr Tony Calland is a former GP in Wales. Chaired by Professor Jonathan Montgomery, Professor of Health Care Law at University College London.