Art Portraiture and Biography – A discussion with Alastair Adams, Dr Sarah Parker & Dr Barbara Cooke

Leonard Dixon Studio, Martin Hall

Alastair Adams, Dr Barbara Cooke and Dr Sarah Parker on the art of portraiture and biography: a discussion on how the artist or writer tries to capture the essence of the individual.

Free refreshments will be available before this event.

Alastair Adams has been painting portraits since the mid 1990’s over which time he has established a strong reputation as a commissioned portrait artist. His dynamic but natural and unassuming portraits earning him many high profile commissions and acclaim through national and international exhibitions. After becoming a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) in 2002, and taking a place on council shortly after, Alastair became the Society’s Treasurer in 2005. In 2008 he was made President, the youngest in the Society’s 120 year history. In his capacity as President, he continued to build upon the Society’s history and strong reputation as a source for high quality, original and inventive world leading portraiture.

Alastair also holds a research based lecturing position at Loughborough University and has published papers on commissioned portraiture, the application of life drawing within a modern educational context, drawing and visualisation and facial difference. He is also a Co Director of the contemporary drawing research group and journal, TRACEY.

Dr Barbara Cooke is a biographer and executive editor on the Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh . She has recently co-edited Waugh’s memoir, A Little Learning and is now editing the semi-autobiographical The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold (1957). Her fully illustrated, site-specific biography Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford was published earlier this year and she is currently working on a follow-up featuring Oscar Wilde. Barbara’s work on autobiography explores how authors use and represent their own life experiences, while her biographies consider the relationship between visual and textual thinking. She lectures in English and Creative Writing at Loughborough University.

Dr Sarah Parker is a lecturer in English at Loughborough University. Her research focuses on nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, with an emphasis on women’s poetry, decadence and aestheticism, gender and sexualities, and visual cultures. Her first monograph is The Lesbian Muse and Poetic Identity, 1889-1930 (Routledge, 2013). She is currently working on a book project exploring Women Poets, Celebrity and Photography in the period 1880-1930. Her online exhibition for the National Portrait Gallery on this topic can be found here.


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