Talk by Dr Mike Collier, The Dawn Chorus – Tuesday 31st March

Tuesday, 31st March, Nibbles 6 pm talk 6.30 to 7.30 pm,
Seminar Room, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Mike is Professor of Visual Art, University of Sunderland and will talk in conversation with composer and musician Dr Bennett Hogg about their ongoing project with master printmaker Alex Charrington, and Natural History Sound Recordist Geoff Sample.

Together they have been developing work that explores the relationship between the natural world, its specific cultures and cultural ecologies and our own sense of culture/s. In particular, they have embarked on a three-year study of a dawn chorus in Northumberland representing their research variously as digitally manipulated sonograms and musical transcriptions.

The idea of the ‘dawn chorus’ vies with nightingales song as the aspect of birdsong most engaging to the general public.

Although the established understanding of birdsong is rooted on the premise that each singing bird is only, or predominately, concerned with intra-specific communication, listening to the mass of birds singing at dawn we intuitively describe the phenomenon as a chorus. However, new analysis of the whole auditory scene suggests inter-specific structure as well, giving rise to the ‘chorus’ impression, rather than random cacophony. This is the ‘area’ that our project specifically focuses on.

Contemporary understandings of the relationships of humans to a ‘more-than-human-world’ have begun to move away from a ‘preservation’ model to one of ‘sustainability’ and we now recognise the inescapable interdependence of humans and their environments, a model that sees humans as participant members of a world rather than its users. This project links the Arts and the Environmental Sciences, human expression and bird communication in a collaboration, exploring ways of presenting and re-imagining our complex, embodied and participatory engagement with a particular aspect of local ecosystems – a dawn chorus.

For a place please email Josephinecousin@googlemail.com.

Talk by artist Ruth Bond – Tuesday 21st April

Outer Hebrides and Northumberland captured in oils – a journey of colour

Tuesday 21st April, Nibbles 6 pm – talk 6.30 to 7.30 pm,
Seminar Room, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Born under African skies, Ruth Bond has worked in many countries across the globe, absorbing cultures, colours, textures and especially the beauty of the natural world. Ruth studied Fashion at Newcastle University and then went on to become a multi-award winning Interior Designer. Now, the light and subtle colours of the Northumberland countryside infuse her painting of some of the most dramatic skies and strikingly beautiful beaches in the world.

Ruth’s recent work reflects her visit to the Outer Hebrides. She realised that the colours of the landscape reminded her of the colour combination of renowned Harris Tweeds. As a result, the landscapes resemble not just the purple, peaty rivers, vibrant turquoise of the seas, blindingly white beaches and heathery moors, but also the natural ingredients that went into dying the yarns.

“Colour has always been the most important element of my landscapes and seascapes. The colours I discovered in the Outer Hebrides were astonishing. Attempting to capture these in my paintings has been a beautiful experience.”

Trips to the Farne Islands during the spring nesting season, where the quirky and flamboyant Puffins caught her eye, inspired a painting that was shortlisted for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2019 at the Mall Galleries, London.

Ruth’s talk will take us through her personal journey from a career in fashion and interior design to the joys of painting with oil, inspired by the seascapes of the Western Isles and Northumberland.

For a place please email Josephinecousin@googlemail.com.

Dates for your diary – Spring 2020

Further details of the following events and talks will appear in the next bulletin issue.

In the meantime, please make a note in your diary where appropriate.


FotH Annual General Meeting 2020

Saturday 18th April 10.00 – 12.30. Learning Room at the Gallery.

The agenda and programme are on pages 5 & 6 of this issue. While it is not necessary to book for the AGM, please let us know if you wish to stay for a complementary lunch afterwards (about 12.30pm).


Summer Exhibition 2020

Looking ahead we are again planning to arrange for our annual Members Summer Exhibition which will take place in July/August.  Full details with entry forms etc. will be included in the May bulletin.


Booking forms and further details will be available in the September bulletin.

Short Course in Printmaking II

The print studio during one of our print workshops

This is the second of the printmaking courses offered by Vhairi Cardinal & Caroline Coode

Vhairi and Caroline are offering a short course in Printmaking on Saturdays 25th January & 8th February 2020 (note, this has changed from 1st February to 8th), 10.30am till 4.00pm each day.

The course will be held in the Learning Room, at Hatton Gallery.

They aim to introduce simple screen-printing and revisit the 2 plate process, as well as helping students to continue with other techniques.

Limited places are available.

Cost: £20 per person per day for members plus a small surcharge for materials.

To register for a place on either of these courses, email FOTHevents@gmail.com.

Art and the Creative Process – a talk by Rhonda Fenwick

Abstraction Reeds by Rhonda Fenwick

Rhonda Fenwick is a contemporary/ participatory artist
Tuesday 18th February, Seminar Room, Hatton Gallery, nibbles 6pm talk 6.30 – 7.30.

Rhonda’s work is concerned with Art and the creative process as a way of empowerment and transformation.

As Igor Stravinsky once said “I myself, having been created, cannot help but create”.

It is this example of inspiration which leads me to work with paint, mixed media, collage, write and film making – integrating the different mediums to create.

The talk is an attempt to explain the creative process of what that implies.  Uncovering the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ and the idea that creativity involves stored memories containing them with new incoming data to create something unique.

In the words of Artist Brice Marden, he said “ultimately, I’m using the painting as a sounding board for the spirt…

You can be painting and go into a place where thought stops – where you can just be and it just comes out… I present it as an open situation rather than a closed situation.”

If you would like to come please email Josephinecousin@googlemail.com.

Art and the Creative Process – a workshop

By Peaceful Means, Rhonda Fenwick

Workshop lead by Rhonda Fenwick
Saturday, 29th February, Learning Room, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne 1-3pm

This workshop follows on from Rhonda’s talk and is concerned with the creative process, how silence and meditation can help the artist to unleash creativity, express personal and authentic art especially in paintings.

During the workshop participants will be given a taste of meditation and an explanation as to how this can help them in their creative processes, plus exercises in mark making discovering their own person marks and personal signature.

Participants will be asked to write in their notebooks any ideas, thoughts, feelings, responses, fears etc. to create a personal diary of their work.  Participants will take part in a painting challenge.

Participants will need to bring with them

  • a notebook
  • four A1 sheets of drawing paper
  • mark making tools, e.g. graphite pencils, charcoal, marker pens, pastels, crayons paints and brushes.

Cost: £15.00 for members

For a place please contact: Josephinecousin@googlemail.com.

Talk by Anne Vibeke Mou

Three views of Eruption by Anne Vibeke Mou

Saturday 14th March 2020 11am. Learning Room at the Gallery.

Anne studied at Glasgow School of Art and Royal College of Art, London and lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including residencies at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, Upernavik Museum in North West Greenland, and National Glass Centre in Sunderland. A privately commissioned window for St Johns Church, Healey in Northumberland won the Art and Christianity Award 2011.

Anne Vibeke was co-curator, exhibitor and editor of Chance Finds Us, 2014, an exhibition and companion publication of works by eight artists from the North East for Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, mima. This project also saw her collaborate with cavers to obtain traces of cave walls from hidden landscapes underground, material which has formed the basis for engravings and a work for National Glass Centre in 2017.

For a place please email Josephinecousin@googlemail.com.

Should all art students learn to paint and draw – a talk by Professor Richard Talbot

Professor Richard Talbot is Director of the Institute for Creative Arts Practice and Professor of Contemporary Drawing

Wednesday, November 6th, 1 pm

The talk will take place in the Fine Arts Lecture Theatre. Newcastle University.

The event is organised by Newcastle University Retired Staff Society (RSS).

This is NOT a public lecture. It is ONLY available to members of Newcastle University Retired Staff Society members and members of Friends of the Hatton (FotH). If you wwould like to join FotH, you can download a form from here.

There has been controversy and debate in the press on this issue in the past year, triggered by suggestions from the art critic Jacob Willer that traditional artistic techniques are being lost because of current teaching practices in art schools. Professor Talbot has addressed this criticism, arguing for an open-ended approach while offering students practical workshops in specific skills.

Newcastle University Retired Staff Society members are invited for coffee adjacent to the lecture theatre from 12.30pm.  The RSS welcomes FotH members to what promises to be a fascinating lecture but it is essential that you email Richard Thompson at richard.r.thompson@btinternet.com before 31st October to register your interest.