The Warnborough College Annual Conference on the Arts took place from August 18th to 21st in Canterbury. The theme for this year was “Culture, Time and Passion: The Fibres of Art”.
Warnborough Programme Director, Dr Jill Kiefer, kicked off proceedings with a monumental plenary about art in all its forms be it painting, sculpture, petroglyphs, theatre, architecture, music or film.
The conference was split into different streams and topics in different modes, namely visual presentations, academic papers, workshops, and an art exhibition. Speakers and participants came from around the world, and Hollywood was particularly well-represented. Film and cinema enthusiasts attending sessions on subjects ranging from stop-motion animation to independent film production, followed by a Short Film Festival with entries from the USA, Spain, India and Brazil. These were presided over by David Chaskin, the screenwriter of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 2’. Robert Reece, a top Disney screenwriter, offered writing workshops and Drew Brody previewed a film starring Martin Sheen as Henry IV.
Cultural art history was explored in many presentations and papers. Chris Blaine and Dr Nanyoung Kim presented on Viking Stave churches and Romanesque architecture respectively. Ana Bilbao looked at art as an instrument for social change, while other sessions discussed methodologies on teaching arts and art history. Professors Mark Stine and John Hepp demonstrated how they combined the oral history process with filmmaking, and Bahadir Gulmez spoke on artistic identity.
Participants got their hands dirty with workshops such as grass-basket weaving (courtesy of Endia Plunkett), pencil drawing (with renowned Aussie wildlife artist Chris McClelland), and creative writing (with author Sandi Hutcheson). Canterbury gallery owner, David Lilford, discussed the merits of urban art and led a gallery tour. A café book signing event showcased works by various authors followed by readings from the work.
The conference had heart too: Suba Tremmel moved audiences with her presentation on endangered historical artefacts in Tamil Nadu, India. Betsy Aidinyantz motivated with her passionate presentation on how art is used to engender creativity and mental well-being. Dr Datiri Chumang received plenty of practical suggestions to deal with the cultural plight in Nigeria.
Robert Niosi brought the conference to a close with a humorously entertaining presentation on the construction of a time-machine sculpture, with snippets from the upcoming documentary of the same topic.
A wonderful time was had by all, and the College wishes to thank Dr Jill Kiefer, Elizabeth Geiselmayr and the staff of Warnborough College, the Canterbury Baptist Church and the Beaney House of Knowledge for making this event a success.
Information about WCCA 2015 will be released very soon.
The “Warnborough College Second Annual Fine Arts and Art History Conference” (WCCA) will take place from the evening of 18 August through 21 August 2014. Our theme for the 2014 conference will be Culture…Time…and Passion: The Fibres of Art.
Art isn’t created or developed in a vacuum. Every work of art (in all its forms) in some way reflects the culture — the world — of its creation. In some cases, the arts have even helped to define it. Culture and passion are where great art begins — and art is where worlds and passions collide! Masterworks survive time and cross cultural boundaries, in part because of the compelling passion they embody. How art is understood by future generations is often quite different from what its creators may have intended but still it remains, and we remain passionate about it. That’s what makes art so exciting! This theme and its many threads will be explored at WCCA 2014.
Some of the sub-topics the conference will examine will include (but not be limited to):
- The on-going influence of popular culture on art
- The freedom of “no choice” that inspires artists
- The reciprocal dialogue between art and changing social behaviours
- Art as a force for cultural and social change
- Passion as expressed in art — past and present
- The synthesis of art from the past with contemporary art and culture
- How, when, where, and why the various arts disciplines merge and overlap
- Mechanisms of the present that facilitate building on artistic creations from the past
- The intersection of time and place: why and how it happens
- Science and art — a creative and inspiring collision of two worlds
- Art as the ‘glue’ that binds the past — the present and the future, in unexpected ways
- The evolving lexicon of visual idioms
- Methodologies needed to teach the changing Fine Arts and Art History disciplines
- Art as a collaboration of culture, time, passion and people
- The business of being an artist in today’s global culture
- Contemporary challenges of curatorship