Special interest day – The Cult of the South Pacific: From Cook to Gauguin by Leslie Primo
Arts Society South Downs October lectures
The Cult of the Celebrity – Omai, the Exotic and Joshua Reynolds
Lecture 1 looks at the events leading up to Joshua Reynolds’s portrait of Omai, exploring this moment from history when two worlds collided: the key players in Omai’s story, his origins in Tahiti, his background, his motivation in coming to England and his time in English society.
Looking at Joshua Reynolds’s ideas regarding his self-image, his influences, how this related to his image of Omai and consider what this portrait tells us about 18th century English society. What happened when Omai returned to the South Seas, the impact of going back: can one ever go back? Lastly, the legacy of the image we call Omai, an enigma in its own right.
Cook and the Invention of Paradise – Voyages and Discoveries
Lecture 2 studies the enduring Western obsession with and the invention of the so called ‘exotic’ or ‘noble savage’, starting with the first discovery of the Island of Tahiti in 1767.
2 morning talks followed by lunch.