Diana Swann, of PIDFAS, details the activities of the group and the recent talks they have enjoyed
At the Portsea Island Decorative and Fine Arts Society (PIDFAS) we have had two excellent lectures since our November AGM.
On December 8 the World of the Bayeux Tapestry was an eye-opener.
Our lecturer Rupert Willoughby took us beyond all the famous and often meaningless scenes to their interesting and often hilarious background– we could almost hear the swords clashing and the arrows whizzing as he brought the tapestry to fizzing life.
In addition from 6pm coffee and tea were served free in the Eldon Building foyer with seasonal mince pies and stollen while we browsed and bought from the selling exhibition of imaginative and colourful papercraft artefacts and jewellery created by Helen Morris.
Our first 2016 lecture was an eye-opener. Lecturer John Ericson told us about the beliefs, artefacts and architecture of the American fundamentalist sect, the Shaking Quakers, or Shakers. We listened open-mouthed as John told us how the sexes were strictly segregated in their beautiful clean-lined and uncluttered ‘family’ homes.
But there were no true families as sex was forbidden. Adults joined the sect impressed by their way of life and the complete equality between men and women and there was no procreation, for children were usually orphans from ‘outside’.
Their buildings were the most beautifully proportioned buildings in America and their furniture was as finely crafted as anything in eighteenth century Britain. A commercial note was struck when John pointed out some of the recent astronomical prices fetched by Shaker furniture at auction.
PIDFAS is rapidly expanding the attractions we can offer when you become a member – foyer exhibitions, raffles, a garden party in the summer and a popular classics lunchtime piano recital in the cathedral are promised.
Our next study day is on February 18 and is on the history of the cinema and two outings in the summer are being organised – to Scotland Yard and to Stourhead.
We hope you will meet us over a free coffee from 6pm and be in your seats by 6.45pm for the next 7pm lecture in the Eldon Building on Winston Churchill Avenue.
The lecture is about arguably England’s greatest pianist, John Ogden.
Visitor donations per lecture are £5, though many prefer to become subscribing members for £40. Do come and join us. Ring me on (023) 9282 0317 for more details.