Thursday, April 1, 2010

Willowbank Lecture Series

April 3: Wendy Shearer, landscape architect, will speak about her experiences restoring some of the great landscapes of southern Ontario, from the 19th and 20th Century. She is known as one of Canada s foremost landscape restoration specialists, and is familiar with Willowbank and its early 19th Century context as a faculty associate.

April 17: Jennifer Dickson, Order of Canada and member of the Royal Academy of Arts in England, is broadly recognized as the pre-eminent artist interpreting the Picturesque tradition in landscape. Her work is in the National Gallery and other collections world-wide, and her gallery shows and presentations are always much anticipated. Her presentation will be intensely visual, with commentary.

May 1: Linda Dicaire, has been involved with historic landscapes in Canada and abroad. She was Chief Landscape Architect for the National Historic Sites program of Parks Canada, and has been active with the ICOMOS International Committee on Gardens and Landscapes. She is currently head of Design Approvals for the National Capital Commission. She will speak about the historic landscape traditions across Canada.

May 15: Noah Richler, is a writer and journalist, who has explored many facets of our connection with landscape. Among his projects for the BBC was a series on landscape and identity in different countries. His book This is My Country, What's Yours? A Literary Landscape of Canada reflects his own literary tradition, including that of his father Mordecai Richler, and our present Canadian reality.

May 29: Mark Laird, landscape architect and historian, divides his time between teaching at Harvard, working out of his Toronto home, and restoring some of the great National Trust properties in the U.K. including Hestercombe and Painshill Park. He is one of the world s authorities on the Picturesque, and his book The Flowering of the Landscape Garden, has been so influential that a major conference will be held this year in the U.K. to discuss the Laird phenomenon. He will speak about the great 18th Century landscape tradition and its legacy.

June 12: Joan Coutu, is an art historian whose two special areas of interest have been the 18th Century landscape garden in England and the 20th Century landscape tradition in Canada. She has focused specifically on the Niagara Parkway and other large-scale public landscapes built during the period of Mackenzie King as Prime Minister and Thomas McQuesten as Ontario s Minister of Public Works. She will speak about the reinterpretation of the Picturesque in the Niagara Parks Commission activities of the 1930s, and their relationship to ideas of Canadian and Ontario identity.

Early July: Jackie Maxwell is known in Canada and abroad as Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival, and acclaimed director. She has agreed to direct a play reading of Tom Stoppard s Arcadia, a provocative and complex play which uses the Picturesque landscape tradition as a sub-text and foil for Stoppard s exploration of order and chaos. The actors and actresses will be drawn from the Shaw Festival and acting community, and they will bring the play to life in a Willowbank setting. There are fascinating parallels the historical play is set in the early 19th Century, close to the time Willowbank s original landscape was created, and a key figure is Hannah Jarvis, the name of the woman who spent many years at Willowbank in the mid-19th Century helping her widowed daughter Hannah Jarvis Hamilton raise her 10 children.

Tickets are $25 per lecture for the general public.

Lectures start at 10am

More information at the Willowbank Website

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