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Newsletter September 2014

The HEDFAS Quarterly Newsletter
                                                                                                     September 2014

A warm welcome to the third of our four editions of the HEDFAS Newsletter for 2014. 



Firstly we must apologise for the delay in publishing this Newsletter, which was due at the end of August.  However, we decided it would be prudent to finalise a very important piece of news before going to press and this we have now done. Read on to find out more ....

What a wonderful summer we have had again this year, filled with sunshine and colour, and now we are enjoying a mellow autumn.  As the evenings draw in we look forward to the rest of our programme , with our lecture on 16th October entitled "The History of Frames", given by Mrs Julia Korner. This replaces the lecture published in the programme which will now be given in January 2015.

On a quite different note, we are absolutely delighted with the response to our invitation to members to go onto Standing Order for their annual subscription.  Over half the whole membership has taken up the offer to date.  It is certainly not too late to sign up if you have not already done so.  There will be forms available at the next meeting.

As always the Newsletter is filled with news and reports on our various activities over the last few months, and I do hope you will enjoy reading it all.
                                                                                   Ginnie Johnston


                                              HEDFAS is having a Christmas Party!

      On 5th December 2014 the Chairman and Committee of HEDFAS are hosting a Christmas Party at Badgemore Park Golf Club and you are cordially invited to attend.  Tickets will be on sale at the lectures on the 16th October - maximum 200 people.

This will be an excellent opportunity to meet fellow members - and indulge in a little Christmas fun too.  Don't miss it! 

12.00 noon - 3.00 p.m.                                           Finger Buffet and
Tickets £15 per person                                             Glass of Wine
Dress: Smart                                                          Plenty of parking



                                  A message from the Vice Chairman,  Geraldine Crippen


At the time of writing, during high summer, we are enjoying a spell of glorious sunshine and the floods of winter just a distant memory.

On a personal note the Church Recorders team are looking forward to the autumn and the presentation of our completed record of St. Mary the Virgin, Henley-on-Thames to the Rector and Church Wardens.    This event represents almost six years of hard but interesting and enjoyable work.   We were joined by members of Goring DFAS for this project and together became an effective, efficient and friendly team of 25 people.

As a very large church St. Mary’s was a major undertaking for an inexperienced group and would have been impossible without the guidance of our Area Chairman, Liz Chalmers ,(now promoted to National Chairman for Church Recorders).

During the past six years we hosted a successful Study Day for the Area on 'The History of Parish Churches’ given by Jane Kelsall.  We also held the Area celebration for 40 years of Volunteering when we were pleased to welcome the National Chairman of Church Recorders.   On this occasion we were thanked by the Rector, Canon Martyn Griffiths, for all the work that is carried out by Church Recorders nationwide which now total approximately 1700 parish churches throughout the UK.

As group leader my thanks to Liz Chalmers and all our excellent team especially those who have ‘held the fort’ during my recent illness.

Finally, we shall be announcing the date on which the Record will be presented very soon, and will be pleased to welcome as many as possible at the service of Sung Eucharist at 9.30am on that Sunday.                            
Geraldine Crippen

Provençal Painters
Lecturer:  Sue Jenkins



We were delighted to welcome Sue back to Henley particularly as she is accompanying our holiday to Provence in September. 

The three sessions were specifically designed to highlight the various visits that will be made and to outline the lives and works of Cézanne, Renoir, Matisse, Leger and Picasso.  The day proved a delight to everyone. 
In the morning Sue explored the life and work of Cézanne who spent his time painting around his home town of Aix.  Sue demonstrated to us the significance for Cézanne of his familiar surroundings and his obsessive response to the view of Mount St. Victoire.  She explored his complicated relationships with his father and his long-suffering wife Hortense, neither of whom really appreciated his genius. 

She also introduced us to Renoir who was very much part of the avant-garde movement focusing on his reasons for moving to Cagnes-sur-Mer.  His joyous paintings brilliantly capture the atmosphere of the South of France.

The afternoon talk compared the twentieth century work of Matisse, Picasso and Leger, all of whom discarded impressionist techniques, moving art forward by emphasising instead brilliant colour and line.  Their work also developed through sculpture and ceramics.
                      Una Murray-Wood


Our Delightful Day in Sussex to visit Charleston Farmhouse and Farley Farmhouse
                                                             on Thursday 5th June


 How fortunate we were to have a sunny day for our trip to Charleston and Farley Farm House and what a wonderful HEDFAS outing it proved to be.


Charleston in East Sussex is associated with the Bloomsbury Group and was the country home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.  It represents the fruition of over 60 years of artistic creativity in an unconventional, domestic context.  In its heyday it was full of uninhibited, messy inspiration adhering to the Bloomsbury philosophy of tolerance, friendship, reason, equality, freedom of speech and non-violence.


Clive Bell, David Garrett and Maynard Keynes lived at Charleston for considerable periods – Virginia and Leonard Woolf, E.M.Forster, Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry were frequent visitors.  The artists decorated the china, lampshades, walls, doors and furniture, resulting in the rooms showing a complete example of the Bloomsbury artists' work. 


The garden was created by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant and is absolutely stunning.  Walled, luxuriant and containing a variety of sculptures, it was designed as a summer garden for playing and painting and was to be an enchanting retreat from London life.


Next we visited the Cricketers Arms for a delicious lunch before ambling up the lane to Berwick Church, which is a gem.  The church contains extensive 20th century murals painted during the Second World War by Duncan Grant and Vanessa and Clive Bell.  They used friends as well as local people and places to depict the life of Christ against a background of war torn Britain.


Following a short journey we then visited Farley Farm House – home of the Surrealists.  Tucked away in the beautiful Sussex countryside it conjures up an extraordinary atmosphere that testifies to its position as a meeting place for some of the key personalities in 20th century art. 

An 18th century farmhouse set in a garden containing many sculptures, the beautiful Lee Miller and Roland Penrose came to live in Farley Farm House in 1949.  In the 35 years that followed they built up a collection of contemporary art treasures, many of which were created by their friends and visitors – including Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Paul Eluard and Joan Miro.  The work of these and numerous others is exhibited in the house, alongside those of Penrose and Miller. This gave us a comprehensive glimpse into the world of the Surrealists, and was particularly interesting to those of us who had attended Antony Penrose’s excellent lecture in June 2013. Antony himself was there to chat to us and this made our visit even more special.

A truly fascinating, full and enjoyable HEDFAS day under, yet again, the watchful care of Shirley Arber and Anne Taylor – thank you.
                                    Angie Chiswell

News from Young Arts

                         HEDFAS sponsored another wonderful outdoor event for young people this year,
                                              Music on the Meadows, on 20th July


Music on the Meadows (MOTH14) is advertised as being 'A great day out with stunning live music, fun for all ages'  It is run by a local group of interested volunteers, including the ex mayor Stefan Gawrysiak. Maggie Atkinson, formerly a HEDFAS Committee Member, was the Chair of the Committee, and was the main driving force behind the day. She was assisted by a committee of young people from schools in the town. The aim of the day was to provide a venue for local teenagers to perform in both a musical and fine art element.

Everyone had a wonderful time.  The sun was shining and there was a tremendous line up of local talent. Maggie commented that the day had been a huge success.

HEDFAS sponsored the event with £350 which went towards providing amazing hair sculptures and body painting, a great favourite with the crowds.


                     A particularly interesting visit to Tate Modern Gallery for the
                                  Henri Matisse Exhibition on Tuesday 19th August



The Tate Exhibition of the Cut Outs by Henri Matisse was stunning. It included 130 colourful cut outs and 4 of his Blue Nudes, never exhibited in the UK before, so a rare treat.

He began making the cut outs in the latter part of his life, between 1937-54. It was particularly interesting to see video footage of Matisse, wheel chair bound, cutting and then directing his assistants as to where he wanted them placed. A truly wonderful exhibition.

The outing also happened to be on one of the days that Big Ben was being cleaned so we were eager to see the suspended cleaners at work on it. We saw the face, stopped at 12 o'clock, indicating it was being worked on, but unfortunately we passed under it whilst they must have been at their tea break!  However, our lovely driver, Ben, drove us round the Tower of London on our return and we were able to see the amazing display of poppies. This more than compensated for the Big Ben disappointment. Another really wonderful outing.

For those of you who were unable to see the wonderful Matisse  exhibition, there will be an 'encore' showing of it at the Regal Cinema in Henley on Monday 10 November at 18.30.
                                       Shirley Arber


       And finally .............

  Henley bridge in the 19th Century

How the landscape has altered in the last two centuries in Henley ..... life moves on at such a pace and now we find ourselves in an age of galloping technology and change, so far removed from the days most of us remember.

HEDFAS quietly keeps pace with the modern world, but is quintessentially the same, bringing the arts to life in a delightful way that all enjoy. Who can resist such pleasures?

                          Henley bridge, September 2014

     Henley bridge in the early 20th Century