02 August 2019Review of lecture on 25th July 2019
24 July 2019Church Recording of St James’ Finchampstead
05 July 2019Review of Mexican Study Day July 2019
01 July 2019Review of lecture on 27th June 2019
01 July 2019Review of visit to Greenwich June 2019
01 June 2019Review of lecture on 23rd May 2019
23 May 2019Review of Hidden Reading walk May 2019
30 April 2019Review of lecture on 25th April 2019
04 April 2019Review of lecture on 28th March 2019
22 March 2019Review of Study Day 13th March 2019
07 March 2019Review of lecture on 28th February 2019
31 January 2019Lectures to take place on Monday evenings from Sept. 2019
31 January 2019Review of lecture on January 24th 2019
13 October 2018Winning entry of the Service the Others category - Love Wokingham Photographic Competition
21 September 2018AGM - new committee members elected
31 May 2018May 2018 Bulletin - Newbold Church
30 April 2018April 2018 Bulletin
20 October 2016Clifton Ingram Partnership Press Release October 2016
02 June 2015Venue Change for 2015-2016 Lecture Programme.
05 May 2015Michael Shirley elected to NADFAS Trustee Board
29 July 2014Introductory Lecture

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Review of lecture on 25th July 2019
Friday 02 August 2019

Provocative Beauty and the artist

Sixty visitors joined the Arts Society, Wokingham members at their recent ‘Free’ lecture – A Provocative Beauty: Art of Grayson Perry. This initiative which began two years ago aims to invite friends of members and anyone in the community with an interest in art appreciation to join us for our July lecture, the last of our year. We hope this will enable visitors to learn more about the activities we pursue through the year, including what we do in the wider community. The number of ‘friends’ attending has been growing steadily and we hope some of our visitors may join us when we begin our new year in September. 

Our excellent lecture, by Frank Woodgate, was an introduction to the Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry and his works. Perry was born in Chelmsford in 1960, studied at Braintree College of Further Education before going on to Portsmouth Polytechnic from where he graduated in 1982. He went on to evening classes in pottery, which would become an important medium for his art. He has often described himself as a ‘performance artist who is also a craftsman’. 

He was the first ceramicist to win the Turner Prize in 2003. The prize is awarded for a body of work rather than individual, or necessarily recent, pieces of work. Perry’s ceramic pot The Names of Flowers, 1994, which reflects upon the ‘places of dispute’ in his lifetime – Syria, Palestine and others was purchased by the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam. The museum asked for more works and offered an exhibition – Grayson Perry – Guerrilla Tactics, 2002 was the result. The Stedelijk showed a selection of about 45 pots that exhibited a cross-section of Perry’s oeuvre and themes; in addition there were drawings photographs, embroidery and quilts. The exhibition was shown at the Barbican Art Gallery later that year. This exhibition was instrumental in showing the range of work to a larger audience and his subsequent selection for the Turner Prize short list. In awarding the prize to Grayson Perry, the judging panel admired his use of the traditions of ceramics and drawing in his uncompromising engagement with person and social concerns. 

We were treated to many examples of Perry’s ceramic vases, tapestries and other art forms as Frank helped us to decode the messages contained therein. In particular we explored his observations of the contemporary art scene and his insight in dissecting the prejudices, fashions and foibles in our modern culture – encouraging the viewer to develop their social conscience.  The strong autobiographical narrative in his work, which often features his alter ego, Claire, and his long-term friend Alan Measles became very evident in both serious and humorous works. 

As an artist he continues to evolve and explore new themes and new media, and is an important observer in our changing times. This exploration of his work has given many of us a desire to seek out and look again at his work, to reflect and to ponder on the themes therein as well as to admire his artistry. 
For anyone who wants to see more of Grayson Perry’s work and is lucky enough to be in Edinburgh, until November, they can visit the exhibition, including the tapestries created for A House in Essex at The Dovecote Studios – Julie Cope’s Grand Tour – the Story of a Life by Grayson Perry.  

Our next lecture, Les Parisiennes by Anna Sebba, will be held on September 23rd (NOTE: Change to Monday) at The Church, St Marks Road, Binfield, RG42 4AN, commencing at 7.45pm. Do come and join us. Visitor Fee: £8. To find out more about The Arts Society check out our website,