This lecture covers aspects of decorative art in some of the most important cities, sites and museums in the world especially Cordoba, Cairo, Damascus, Isfahan and Samarkand. From its Arabian heartland comes a wealth of decorated ceramics, carved wood, metalwork, glass, tiles, mosaics, carpets, architecture and gardens. Islamic art encompasses the great wealth of artistic treasures inspired by the Islamic religion, but there is also non-religious art such as the colourful dancing figures from the pleasure palaces of Persia; the simple mud brick decorations of a merchant caravanserai; or the delicate carved marble of arguably the world’s most beautiful building – the Taj Mahal. We tend to think of all Islamic art in a religious context, but within these regions are many non-Muslim communities of Copts, Jews and Zoroastrians whose own art is inextricably linked. Despite unifying themes of mosques, minarets, madrassas and mausoleums to be found between Morocco and China, each region has its own history that influences the decorative art we see today.
Christopher Bradley is an expert in the history and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. As a professional tour guide and lecturer he has led groups throughout the Middle East and Asia. Has written extensively on Arabia and is the author of The Discovery Guide to Yemen, Insight Guide to the Silk Road and Berlitz Guides to Libya; The Red Sea; Cairo; Abu Dhabi and Nile Cruising. As a photographer has pictures represented by four photographic libraries. A broad range of lecturing experience, including to the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Institute of British Architects. As a film producer and cameraman he has made documentaries for the BBC, National Geographic TV and Channel 4.
Please book the lectures by calling any of the following committee members:
Robert Newton – 014 258 6318
Cheryl Fankhauser – 016 995 3214
Sandie Lenton – 016 555 1950