A lecture by Nikki Frater. 6.00 pm drinks, 6.45 pm talk. In conjunction with the Wiltshire Art Fund. Rex Whistler had a dazzling career as a muralist, portrait painter, illustrator, stage designer and graphic artist. Although we all know some of his works – whether it be the mural in the restaurant at Tate Britain, his funny adverts for Shell, or the beautiful illustrations for Gulliver’s Travels – he remains quite an enigmatic character. Here’s an opportunity to get to know more about this fascinating man and his work. We’ll follow his career from the highly imaginative creations in his childhood sketchbooks to his magnificent designs for ballet, theatre and film. Rex Whistler had what seemed a very glamorous life, with famous friends and patrons from actors to the aristocracy, but we’ll go ‘behind the scenes’ and get a deeper sense of the man himself, his humour, distinctive vision and creativity.
Nikki Frater is an artist and art historian who has been researching and presenting on the life and work of Rex Whistler for many years. Having returned to academia as a mature student, she is currently completing her PhD thesis on the artist at the University of Plymouth. She has presented and given papers on Rex Whistler at Tate Britain, the Rex Whistler The Triumph of Fancy exhibition in Brighton, on BBC Radio Wales, the University of St Andrew’s, the Association of Art Historians, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and at the National Trust at Plas Newydd, Anglesey where Whistler’s most important mural is located.