Talks at The Towner

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20th Century Treasures: Highlights from the Towner Collection (11.00 - 11.45)

Talk by James Russell

Towner has an impressive collection of Modern British art. In this wide-ranging, colourful survey, curator and author James Russell looks in depth at a selection of the highlights, teasing out stories about the artworks and the artists who made them. The author of books on Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Paul Nash and Peggy Angus, James recently curated 'Ravilious' at Dulwich Picture Gallery and 'Century' at the Jerwood Gallery.


John Piper and Brighton Aquatints - Sunday 15th October (12.15 – 1.00pm)

Talk by Alan Powers

Alan Powers is a researcher and writer specialising in art, architecture and design. Powers trained as an art historian at the University of Cambridge, gaining an undergraduate degree and a PhD and has subsequently written books on the design of dust jackets, shopfronts, book collectors, and the popular artist Eric Ravilious. His latest project involves a reappraisal of John Piper’s highly collectable early book: Brighton Aquatints (1939), which will be released by the Mainstone Press next year.   

In addition to writing, he has curated several popular exhibitions, including Modern Britain 1929-39 at the Design Museum, 1999, Serge Chermayeff (Kettle’s Yard), 2001, Eric Ravilious (Imperial War Museum), 2003 and Mind into Matter (De La Warr Pavilion), 2009.  An expert on 20th-century architecture, Alan Powers was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 2008.

The Mysterious World of Darktown - Sunday 15th October (1.45 – 2.30pm)

Talk by Jonny Hannah

Jonny grew up in Dunfermline and studied at the Cowdenbeath College of Knowledge, Liverpool Art School and then the Royal College of Art in London. Since graduation in 1998 he has been working both as a commercial designer & illustrator and printmaker, creating wonderful screen printed books, posters and prints for his own Cakes & Ale Press. Jonny is currently a senior lecturer in Illustration at Southampton Solent University. 

Recent projects have included his biggest exhibition to date at Yorkshire Sculpture Park: 'Main Street’, a homage to the independent trader, including ‘McVouty’s Secondhand Emporium’ and ‘Brel’s Record & Coffee Bar’. And the first edition of his very own mix-tape CD entitled ‘Songs from the Mermaid Café Jukebox’ sold out in a few days, which makes him think he could have been in the top 40.


Robert Tavener: Shape, Pattern and Colour; images of the Downs and Sea - Sunday 15th October (3.00 – 3.45pm)

Talk by Emma Mason

Robert Tavener, illustrator and printmaker, was born in London. After 6 years war service he attended Hornsey College of Art (1946-1950). He was head of Printmaking at Eastbourne College of Art and Design from 1953, later to become vice principal. He also taught at St Martins School of Art for one day a week. He did much illustration work as well as commissions for organisations such as Shell, the BBC, and London Transport. He was a senior fellow of the Royal Society of Painter/Printmakers. His work is held in over 25 public collections including the V+A and the Government Art Collection.

Emma Mason Gallery specialises in original prints by printmakers working in Britain from the 1950s to the present day and is run by husband and wife, Emma and Richard Mason.

The Gallery have written and produced two books on Robert Tavener: “Oh, Mr Tavener, I wish I had the original” published in 2011 and “Sussex Vignettes” in 2014 and have also written articles on printmaking for magazines and newspapers such as Printmaking Today, Illustration Magazine, 20th Century Magazine.  The Gallery holds regular exhibitions and takes part in art fairs.