Talks On Demand

Watch our previous Talks, with new content added every week. The same fascinating Garden Talks, ready when you are.

Choose from favourite topics or surprise yourself with something new. Why not let your journey be driven by your curiosity?

Pick from 14 past Garden talks.

Does artistic genius exist?

Dr. James Fox

Great artists are often described as geniuses. But what is artistic genius and would we know it if we saw it? Where does artistic creativity come from? From God, from imagination, or from hard work?

Where are all the women in art?

Katy Hessel

When you think of the great artists, who comes to mind? In all likelihood it was a male artist like Picasso, Rembrant or Van Gogh. Why are so few of the most celebrated artists in history female? Where are all the women in art?

How does pop culture influence art?

Ferren Gipson

From the paintings of Van Gogh to the music of Beyonce, art has a very close relationship to popular culture reflecting the trends and tastes of a given time, and provide insight into tastes in music, fashion, popular stories and much more

How is technology changing art?

Dr. James Fox

Artists have always been early adopters of new technologies, but in recent years new technologies have appeared more quickly than ever before. Should we be excited about these dramatic changes, or worried? Are they a flash in the pan, or here to stay?

Can art change society?

Dr. James Fox

Many artists have tried to re-shape society, using art as a tool for propaganda and protest, to bring about social change, and to improve people’s lives. But can art really make a difference? And where would we be without it?

What makes an artwork good?

Dr. James Fox

Why are some artists famous and others forgotten? Why are some artworks priceless and others worthless? And in an era where so much art is so hard to fathom, how do we know whether a work of art is any good?

What is art?

Dr. James Fox

Art is an essential part of what it means to be human. But what is art? When did we start creating it? And why do we still need it?

Inspiring Artists: Bacon in Moscow

James Birch

In 1988, art curator James Birch, travelled to Moscow to mount the ground-breaking Francis Bacon exhibition. How was Bacon perceived at the time & how did this exhibition change society?

Inspiring Artists: Who was Francis Bacon?

Mark Stevens & Annalyn Swan

Irish-born painter Francis Bacon was one of the most important artists of the 20th century, his raw, unsettling imagery emerging from some of the most traumatic events of the modern age, including two world wars. Who was he, as an artist and as a man?

How do artists depict paradise?

Dr. James Fox

Humans have always speculated about what a perfect world might look like, whether as a reward in the afterlife, part of an origin story like the Garden of Eden, or a real place on Earth. How do we see these ideas play out in the art we create?

How has modern science transformed colour?

Dr. James Fox

The last 150 years has brought about the greatest revolution there's ever been in colour. How have we ended up living in a hyper-coloured world?

Why do we think white means pure?

Dr. James Fox

The colour white has been associated with purity for millennia in religious iconography, architecture and art. But has it come to represent something darker too?

Why do some cultures have no word for blue?

Dr. James Fox

Until relatively recently in human history, there wasn't a word meaning "blue". Of the ancient cultures, only the Egyptians had a word for this colour. What was everyone else seeing?

What is colour?

Dr. James Fox

Colour is an experience: the colours we see and what they mean to us will differ for every human on the planet. What can art history, science, anthropology, literature and politics teach us about colour?

That's all for now

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