Wednesday 28 February 2024
GILES: HIS LIFE, TIMES AND CARTOONS
Presented by Barry Venning
Held at the Hove Club, doors open at 6.45pm. The lecture starts promptly at 7.30pm. A licensed bar is available. Entry is free to ASES members/£10 for visitors (strictly by prior arrangement: a maximum of two visits per year, contact Membership Secretary for further information and to register as a visitor
The cartoonist, Carl Giles, once said that he loved his creation, Grandma Giles – that fearsome, black-clad, gambling, drinking battleaxe – because she allowed him to say things through his cartoons that he was too polite to say in person. She helped him to poke fun at authority in all its forms, from Hitler to traffic wardens and even his employers at the Daily Express, who didn’t trust him and had sub-editors scouring his cartoons for subversive background details. His admirers included Prince Charles, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Tommy Cooper, and it was no surprise when he was voted Britain’s best-loved cartoonist in 2000. Few people realise, however, that this likeable and humane satirist was also a war correspondent who witnessed the horrors of Belsen, where he found that the camp commandant, Josef Kramer, was also a great fan of his work. Giles gave us a remarkable picture of a half-century of British life. He was also, as his editor John Gordon put it “a spreader of happiness’ and ‘a genius…with the common touch’.
About the Lecturer
Barry Venning is an art historian whose interests and teaching range from the art of late medieval Europe to global contemporary art. He has published books, articles and exhibition catalogue essays on Turner, Constable and European landscape painting, but also has an ongoing research interest in postcolonial art and British visual satire. He works as a consultant and associate lecturer for the Open University. His media work includes two BBC TV documentaries, radio appearances for BBC local radio and abc Australia, and a DVD on Turner for the Tate.
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