Thursday, 24 June 2021

The Arts Society Henley

MARILYN ELM, writer and lecturer for organisations such as the Royal Horticultural Society and the National Trust and contributor to radio and TV gardening programmes, brought a welcome taste of spring in her beautifully illustrated lecture “For the love of flowers” to the society at Phyllis Court Club on March 15.

She explored how flowers, in their infinite variety, had inspired artists and designers over the centuries for their symbolic significance in religious art and also how in royal courts, flowers were often part of extravagant visual displays as well as a feature of royal paintings.

Tracing the development of garden design through Elizabethan knot gardens, the madness of 17 century “tulipmania” and the formality of Victorian bedding plants, Marilyn concluded her fascinating survey with the more relaxed planting of modern design and the democratic rise of the “garden centre”.

The next meeting of the society will take place on at Phyllis Court Club on Thursday, April 19, when Pamela Campbell-Johnson’s lecture will be “Celebrating the Royal Academy of Arts’ 250th anniversary 1768-2018”.

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