Non-members are welcome. A donation of $10 per person includes entry in the lucky door prize and afternoon tea.
The Annual Adrian Heyworth Smith Memorial Lecture for 2017.
This talk will introduce and discuss contemporary reactions in art and literature to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a mythological epic on the subject of transformation. In painting and literature from the 1990s until 2014 some of the characteristic preoccupations of Ovid’s poem (for example metamorphosis, hybridity, the relationship between representation and reality) have found emphasis in works retelling Ovid’s stories in ways that reflect contemporary concerns, such as the environment in crisis, the alienated subject, and the body under siege. In this talk we will survey a number of such examples. In each case we shall evaluate the degree to which an artist’s work is engaging with Ovid’s epic; we shall contextualize the piece in relation to previous treatments of the same theme or story from Ovid; and we shall consider how framing a work of art as 'Ovidian' may contribute to our understanding of it. Examples will include Ted Hughes' Tales from Ovid and works by Fernando Botero, Anna Gillespie, Tom Otterness, Kate McDowall, Kiki Smith and Dessa Kirk.