2018 Festival Featured Guests

Sir Roy Strong CH FRSL

Sir Roy Strong, former director of the National Portrait Gallery, 1967-1973, director of the V&A until, 1974-1987 and patron of the Broadway Arts Festival since 2014 is famed as an author, broadcaster, art historian, garden designer, diarist, expert on Indian palaces, and flamboyant dresser. His passions include scholarship, church conservation, Englishness, the monarchy, his garden at the Laskett and costumes.

Always informed and witty, occasionally deliciously indiscrete, Sir Roy never fails to entertain and we look forward to a lively conversation with current Director of the V&A, Tristram Hunt.

Richard Ormond

Richard Ormond is the grandson of Violet Sargent Ormond, sister of John Singer Sargent.

Former deputy director of the National Portrait gallery and director of the Maritime Museum, he is co-author of the nine volume Catalogue Raisonné of Singer Sargent’s work and curator of two recent major exhibitions of his portraits and watercolours as well as historical advisor to the Broadway Arts Festival.

This year Richard explored the Art and Adventures of John Singer Sargent in what was a spellbinding and informative illustrated conversation with Lachlan Goudie.

Tristram Hunt

Tristram Hunt, British historian specialising in Victorian urban history, author of several books, broadcast journalist, former Labour MP for Stoke on Trent and Shadow Education Secretary took up his post as director of the V&A in 2017. His support of the ceramics industry helped secure the Wedgwood Collection in 2014.

At a time of great change at the V&A we enjoyed a lively discussion with former director Sir Roy Strong.

Andrew Graham Dixon

Andrew Graham-Dixon is one of the English-speaking world’s leading art critics. Writing regularly for the Sunday Telegraph, presenter of BBC2’s The Culture Show plus several popular series and numerous documentaries on art for the BBC, author of numerous acclaimed books on art and sculpture from medieval times to the present, we are privileged to have Andrew come and talk to us about his painstaking research into the life and tragic early death of Caravaggio.

“Graham-Dixon conveys the force of Caravaggio’s personality and the consequences of his art with a brilliant grasp of detail. After years in which art historians have concentrated on the minutiae of artistic style, it is refreshing to read a biography of Caravaggio that combines the blood and guts of Rome’s backstreets with a real understanding of the quality and character of his paintings.” Charles Saumarez Smith, The Telegraph

Lachlan Goudie

Lachlan Goudie, known to most for presenting the BBC’s Big Painting Challenge, is an artist, writer and Arts broadcaster. Son of the Scottish artist Alexander Goudie, educated in Glasgow and Cambridge, Lachlan has written and presented the recent BBC series on The Story of Scottish Art and The Art of Industry. His latest exhibition of paintings of the shipyards of Govan and Rosyth is currently touring Britain.

Lachlan was in conversation with Richard Ormond exploring the technique and historical context of some of Sargent’s finest works.

Dom Pipkin

Jamie Cullum says “I can’t hold a candle to this guy”.

One of the world’s finest New Orleans style jazz piano players treated us to a sensational evening

Lewis Noble

Leading contemporary British landscape artist treated artists to an inspirational two-day workshop, making vigorous, atmospheric drawings direct from the landscape removing preciousness and allowing a spontaneity of mark making that helps achieve more interesting paintings.

“I try to make paintings which stand in for the landscape itself. The process of building many layers of paint over time, eroding, scratching and repainting, has echoes in the way the landscape is made.”

Charlie Calder-Potts

Charlie Calder-Potts is a British artist based in Warwickshire. Her work looks at history and it’s repetitive nature; the value of our heritage and our similarities to previous generations and to each other.

Charlie is currently working on a collaborative project sponsored by the British Arts Council based on her time in Iran. She has had many notable exhibitions and commissions both in London and abroad. Previous projects include her selection as an Official War Artist with the British Army in Afghanistan 2013/14, a private commission in Iraq in 2015 and a mixed media aluminium series in Tajikistan in 2016. Her installations have included large scale aluminium pieces, armoured metal, wood panel and vellum paper, combining photography, painting and drawing.

From her time as an official war artist with the British Army in Afghanistan to the sponsorship that took her to the Syrian and Yazidi refugee camps of Northern Iraq – Charlie’s talk was entitled ‘Tales from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran

Ann Blockley

Ann Blockley RI SWA is a renowned watercolour and mixed-media artist with an individual style developed over a lifetime of professional painting. Her pictures are evocative, atmospheric and intuitive. Her longstanding passion has been for nature, inspired by the countryside and gardens close to her Cotswold studio. Ann has a worldwide reputation for her unique interpretations and has written many books on her painting methods and filmed several dvds covering a wide variety of subjects. In later years she has moved from flowers and animals to the landscape with its trees, hedgerows, birds, and wild-flower meadows.

Guy Fraser Sampson

Guy Fraser-Sampson is well known as a witty and entertaining speaker at festivals around the country as well as making regular appearances on radio and television. Guy is the author of 15 books, including his Mapp and Lucia series which have been featured on Radio 4 and optioned by the BBC, as well as his Hampstead Murders contemporary detective stories.
In his three acclaimed successor novels Guy traces the further exploits of E.F. Benson’s socially satirical rivals Mapp and Lucia in what are believed to be thinly disguised versions of Broadway and Rye.

Donna Lucey

The award-winning author Donna M. Lucey has spent her career poring though original letters and diaries to write stories of unconventional women of the late nineteenth century. She is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestselling Archie and Amélie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age.

In her seductive, multi-layered biography, Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas, Lucey illuminates the lives of four headstrong women painted by the high society portraitist John Singer Sargent. These real-life stories concern the pain and joy of intense love, the agony of its loss, the shame of repression. With his uncanny insight, Sargent looked into the souls of these women and was inspired by what he found.

(A) rollicking snow globe version of an almost unimaginable world of wealth.” The New York Times

[A] lyrical meditation on life, love, and art in the Gilded Age. . . . Sargent’s Women abounds with dazzling characters in atmospheric settings. . . . As rich as [Sargent’s] portraits are, the textural evidence in which Ms. Lucey ensnares them is finer still.” – Jane Kamensky, Wall Street Journal

Ben Powell

Ben picked up a violin aged just two and has never looked back. He is fast assuring his position as one of the most versatile violinists of his generation. Born and educated in Cheltenham and Berklee College of Music, Boston, he now lives in Los Angeles after residencies in Boston, Paris and New York.

He has performed as soloist to blockbusters including ‘Batman vs Superman’, ‘Dunkirk’ & ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.  He has worked in the recording studios of Los Angeles with artists such as Neil Young, Barbra Streisand, Adele and Michael Bublé and appeared alongside Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock, Gloria Estefan, Danny Elfman, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Stevie Wonder.

Inspired at an early age by Stephan Grappelli and Django Reinhardt, Ben Powell with Friends promises an evening of exceptional gypsy swing talent.