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Lecture Series

Royal Institution of Cornwall 2019 Lecture Series

The RIC lecture series is a high quality events programme featuring world-renowned speakers, showcasing academic excellence coming from both inside and outside the Royal Institution of Cornwall.


Every Third Thursday of the Month from 6pm-7pm
£4 Members, £7 Non-Members
FREE for 16’s and under

March 21st
Albert Reuss in Mousehole, The Artist as Refugee – Susan Soyinka

Albert Reuss (1889-1975) was a Jewish émigré artist, born in Vienna. He fled to England in 1938 to escape Nazi persecution, losing family, possessions and his reputation as an artist. In 1948, he moved to Mousehole, Cornwall, where he continued to work as an artist, but his style changed dramatically, reflecting the trauma he had suffered. His works are held in numerous galleries world-wide, including Newlyn Art Gallery in Cornwall, the Belvedere in Vienna, and Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel.

In researching his life, Susan Soyinka interviewed many people who knew him, and also retrieved a huge archive on Reuss from Vienna. A most fascinating story emerged of this lonely and isolated artist’s struggle to develop his art and to survive, a story full of human drama and tragedy, all set against the background of world historic events
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April 18th
Where does your smartphone really come from?- Professor Frances Wall

Frances Wall is Professor of Applied Mineralogy at Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, current President of the Cornish Institute of Engineers and was named as one of ‘100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining’ in 2016. This lecture will explain how the transition away from fossil fuels is taking us into an age of materials, in which we will need to mine more raw materials and a greater range of minerals than ever before. Frances will tell the stories behind some of the critical elements and explain how we can all play a part in making sure that our raw materials come from responsible sources. It will consider the role of science, education and minerals in Cornwall in this transition.
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May 23rd
Damned, Deviant, Divine – a brief history of disability in Britain – Dr Steph Wright
This talk offers an introductory tour of the history and archaeology of disability in Britain, spanning from the Roman occupation to 1900 AD. The speaker has selected her favourite themes and stories about disability in the past to show you, which were discovered through human skeletal remains, archaeological and historical evidence. The talk goes beyond the famous, disability heroes of the past, to explore the consequences of impairment and disability for the more everyday citizens from Roman, Saxon, Medieval and Post-Medieval Britain.
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June 11th ***special lecture to commemorate the the opening of the RIC building in 1919- 100 years on this date***
The History of The Royal Cornwall Museum Buildings, River Street, Truro and the Architect Philip Sambell- Sue Coney
The History of The Royal Cornwall Museum Buildings, River Street, Truro and the Architect Philip SambellThe Museum contains a fascinating collection of artefacts, art and literature from all historical ages in the history of Cornwall. However, the buildings that house the collections should be considered as two of the most precious artefacts not only for the Museum itself but also for the City of Truro.

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June 20th
Algorithmic Art- Tariq Rashid

Algorithmic art, art forms where the significant element of its design is created by mathematics or data, is growing in prominence and popularity. Whether it is the endless alien terrains in computer games, or music composed by genetic algorithms, robots performing machine learned verse or an animated journey into the infinitely detailed Mandelbrot fractals, all algorithmic art at its core unlocks the hidden beauty, and sometimes the unexpected chaos, of mathematics and logic.

Tariq will be giving an introductory overview of the algorithmic art, covering some of the recent art forms, demonstrating how mathematics can be unexpectedly beautiful, and provoking a discussion on whether code and data is the unavoidable media for artists responding and reflecting our increasingly digital age.

Tariq has long been interested in the intersection of technology, science and art, and currently runs a successful algorithmic art group with over 3000 members. He also encourages children to learn to code through creativity and art.

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July 18th
Finds Liaison Officer for Cornwall- Anna Tyacke
Anna Tyacke will be speaking about new finds from Cornwall, to co-incide with the 2019 Festival of Archaeology.
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August 22nd- LGBTQ Stories at the Museum- Dan Vo
Dan Vo founded the award-winning volunteer-led LGBTQ Tours at V&A, London and developed Bridging Binaries for University of Cambridge Museums. He works with museums and galleries to shine a light on objects which explore gender and sexual identities through a queer lens.
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September 19th
Western Rising of 1549 – the so-called ‘Prayer Book Rebellion’ Prof Mark Stoyle
Professor Mark Stoyle is a Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Southampton. He specialises in exploring the cultural, ethnic and religious identity in Wales and Cornwall between 1450 and 1700.

Professor Stoyle many publications on Cornwall during the 15th and 16th Centuries include:

Stoyle, M. (2017). The Western Rebellion of 1549: religious protest in Devon and Cornwall.
Stoyle, M. (2014). ‘Fullye bente to fighte oute the matter’: reconsidering Cornwall’s role in the Western Rebellion of 1549.
Stoyle, M. (2002). West Britons: Cornish identities and the early modern British state. Exeter, GB: University of Exeter Press.
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October 24th
Black Musicians in Cornwall- Rodreguez King-Dorset
Rodreguez King-Dorset is a prolific author on the subject of Black British History. His new book Black Influence on Classical Music 1500-2000 to be published in August 2019 has a section featuring the local historical figure of Joseph Emidy.
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November 21st
Mining and Miners at South Crofty mine, Mark Kaczmarek
As an ex-miner from South Crofty, Mark will be talking about the closing of the mine, the mining industry in the latter half of the 20th century, his later work with Camborne School of Mines and where the future of mining in Cornwall may turn.
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