The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS)

San-Bartolo-Guatemala

The Murals of San Bartolo, Guatemala, where I carried out my PhD research

 

I am an Arts Society Lecturer and happy to travel anywhere inside and outside the UK to talk about the Maya and their amazing art and architecture.

Some examples of lectures:

The Magnificent Maya – Fact & Fantasy

The Maya created one of the most sophisticated civilizations in the ancient world.  Their achievements in the arts and sciences, along with their complex social, political and economic systems, make them one of the most remarkable culture groups in the Precolumbian Americas.

These people brought us an intricate calendar system, complex hieroglyphic writing, some of the largest pyramids in the world, a form of ballgame that was like no other and most importantly chocolate! This lecture will discuss the major achievements of the Maya as well as pointing out the common misunderstandings we have of this remarkable civilization.

 

The Lords of Creation – Kingship in Maya Art

Art, inscriptions and architecture were commissioned by Maya kings from Central America to memorialise themselves and ensure their place in history.

This lecture will look at images that describe the transformation of a human being into a king, the wielder of sacred authority and the rituals that were carried out to re-establish their connections with the cycles of time and their ancestors.

The purpose of art itself, was to document the bloodlines of kings and so various examples will be given, including the spectacular murals of San Bartolo, Guatemala, where the presenter carried out her research.

 

The Splendour of Colours: Painted Vessels of the Maya

The ancient Maya of Central America created the most exquisite painted vessels. The scenes from these vessels give us a fascinating insight into the ancient life of the people.

Aside from their beauty as objects of art, they aid both the archaeologist and art historian in understanding the context of the Maya universe, from palace scenes and sporting events, to mythology and tales of the underworld.

In the absence of the wheel, the techniques of ceramic making will be discussed as well as their different styles and themes, thus confirming their place amongst the great painting traditions of the world.

 

Reading Maya Art

The Maya from Central America were one of only 5 cultures in the world to independently develop a fully-fledged writing system. Of all the world’s early scripts, the Maya script is quite possibly the most beautiful. Maya hieroglyphs are more than just a writing system, they are an art form – in fact, the Maya use the same word for both writer and painter.

This lecture will look at the artistry of Maya writing, their painted paper books (codices), the history of decipherment, as well as the most intricate and complicated calendar system in the entire ancient world.

 

For more information on the Arts Society – Click here

 

Standing in the Great Plaza of Tikal, Guatemala, with Temple 1 in the background