Dr. Cotton explains the origins of the Drecki Lecture series
Catherine Anholt, Alan Cotton, Laurence Anholt, Tricia Cotton
2013 LECTURE PRESENTATION Laurence Anholt:True Art Stories
The award winning artist and author Laurence Anholt MA (Royal Academy),
was the guest speaker at this year's Drecki lecture of the South West
Academy, held on Saturday 19th October at the premises of Exeter
auctioneers Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewood.
Guests were greeted in the foyer with a drink and canapés
before being seated and officially welcomed by Academician and
Trustee Ann Jones (Ann.L.Roe).
Ann pointed out that this was the third time that the Exeter
auction house had so generously hosted our lectures, and expressed
our sincere thanks to all concerned and particularly the ever
supportive and delightful Diana Wilkinson.
She then introduced Dr Alan Cotton, President Emeritus and founder
of SWAC, who spoke briefly and sincerely about our debt of
gratitude to the painter and philanthropist Zbigniew Drecki
and his wife Jo, whose generous financial bequest did so much
to establish the South West Academy in its early years.
It was then time for the main event of the evening.
Laurence is a highly entertaining and talented speaker. An hour
seemed to fly by as his illustrated talk, peppered with humorous
anecdotes, revealed fascinating insights into the lives of many
of the famous artists who over the years have become household
names for us all.
We were to learn that Laurence's early years were spent in Holland
and where his lasting passion for art began, but it was in England
that his adult studies in Fine Arts was to ultimately lead to a
Masters Degree from the Royal Academy London.
Then married, he and his artist wife Catherine, began writing and
illustrating books, mainly in response to the arrival of their
young family. 'The books simply grew with the children' said Laurence.
Their daughter Claire now works for the United Nations in New York. Tom
is a highly successful painter living
in Berlin (www.tomanholt.com) and Maddy is an actor based in London receiving
rave reviews for her one woman show at the Edinburgh Festival this
So from these small beginnings Laurence and Catherine have now
published the unbelievable figure of over 200 books, distributed
worldwide and in over 30 languages.
The best selling 'Anholts Artists Series' - an introduction to
great artists for young children - include 'Camille and the
Sunflowers'; Picasso and the Girl with the Pony Tail'; 'The Magical
Garden of Claude Monet' etc.
We learned that each book had been meticulously researched and
was based on actual encounters between a real child and a
great artist. These had taken Laurence on many fascinating
journeys often meeting the family relatives and friends of
these icons of the art world.
A particularly fascinating moment was witnessing a full scale
musical production of one of their books in Korea.
Their work has gained them many coveted awards internationally
including invitations to Buckingham Palace and Downing Street
on a number of occasions.
Laurence and Catherine now live and work in a house and studios
on top of a hill above the sea in Colyton, Devon where they
continue to produce paintings, sculptures and prints and to
deliver illustrated talks on art, literacy and child development.
By the end of the hour Laurence had delivered a witty and
thoroughly entertaining lecture and sat down to warm and thoroughly
deserved applause from all those in attendance. Those not there
had missed a real treat.
A vote of thanks was given by Ann's husband Alan, who mentioned
how the Anholt 'team' through their unique and distinctive
writings, had helped the young to better understand and
empathise with these giants of our art world and for those
audience members slightly longer in the tooth, to discover some
previously unknown and fascinating facts.
Alan concluded with a particular vote of thanks to his wife Ann
for her hard work in masterminding this lecture.
Grateful thanks too, to Phil Creek (projection);
Penny Keen (Admin); Sonia Fynn and Charlie O'Sullivan for
their delicious canapés and general help on the night and
daughter Lolo Lilley for brilliant help with the design of
the publicity flyer.
The evening ended with some brisk sales of signed books
and prints at the Anholt table.
The South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts
Registered Charity No. 1087350
Company Registration No. 4243361
A charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales
Web site by Design Timbre