WE are calling all Kenton Lecture fans to the theatre next Tuesday, March 26 at 8pm for our last ever lecture after a fantastic run of six years. We intend to hold a special evening and our subject can only heighten an already emotionally charged event.
If you enjoyed our previous lectures on art, which have included the genius of Picasso and the Queen’s great paintings, you cannot fail to be in awe of the surrealist painter, Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domingo — or Salvador Dalí to you and me. Born in Figueres, northern Spain in 1904, his genius quickly brought him into contact with the greats of the Twenties — Picasso, Magritte and Miró — and he matched them canvas for canvas in pushing back the frontiers of traditional art.
The title of our lecture is taken from one of his most recognisable works, The Persistence Of Memory which now resides in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The painting is only tiny — 9.5in by 13in, but its significance is huge in identifying future themes for Dalí landscapes.
Its soft melting pocket watches, set in a wasteland surrounded by the hills of his birthplace, truly takes the observer into the realms of dreams and the subconscious. Intellectuals pompously argued that he was coming to terms with Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, but when challenged he enigmatically stated that it was a surrealist perception of Camembert cheese melting in the sun. This comment was typical of his life. He was always at the centre of media attention, making outlandish statements that startled, outraged and stimulated people’s senses all at the same time.
This fantasy world will be opened up by our accomplished speaker Colin Hayes who promises not to outrage as per his subject, but only to promote interest and wonderment at the images this “showman” launched to the world. Colin’s career has led him from acting, through art direction, auctioneering and art history, to his present favourite job as art director on the QM2 liner.
His experience of directing theatre around the London scene gives him a passionate interest in old theatres, and says he is “privileged” to grace the stage of the fourth oldest working theatre in the UK.
I cannot guarantee that when you come to the theatre you will sit on Mae West Lips sofas or have a Lobster Telephone to use as a substitute for your mobile, but I can promise that Colin will introduce us to these special Dalí artefacts during the evening. I know we are in for an exciting and fun evening of highs as we view Dalí’s mesmeric paintings and our reality is distorted. However, there are bound to be lows as we reflect on the significance of the end of an era for the Kenton Lectures. Please come along and support — and possibly bring along a handkerchief to wipe away a tear.
Box office www.kentontheatre.co.uk or call (01491) 575698.