mary alexander

My Approach

A huge part of the joy of lecturing for me is sharing and communicating a life-long passion for the visual arts. Designing a stimulating lecture - or an interactive special interest day - requires much more than in-depth academic research and knowledge of the subject.

It involves making those fascinating connections between the historical, social and cultural issues of the period. For the audience, it must be an exciting visual experience, made all the more so by the opportunities of digital technology. Above all, the occasion should be challenging, enjoyable and fun.

Whatever the topic or historical period, I use the 'voices' of the time alongside the visual imagery to bring the players to life. Extracts from diaries, journals and artists' letters provide poignant insights to the everyday concerns, ambitions and dreams of the characters. And we are the privileged spectators.

Travelling coupleAs a professional art and design historian with a particular interest in the history of clothing, I often focus on topics concerning artists, designers and patrons who share this fascination. Or projects which concern an imaginative integration of various design elements, whether painting/interiors/graphics and fashion.

All lecture topics concern true innovation and creativity. All are designed to inspire – and, in the words of Thomas Gainsborough - 'to make the heart dance'.