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Kenneth Park will lead a fascinating discussion for one of the world’s most famous paintings, Whistler’s Mother by James McNeill Whistler in 1871. We asked Kenneth a few questions about his work, his thoughts on art and what significance Whistler’s Mother holds for us.


What does this painting mean to you?

Whistler’s Mother at first glance appears to many viewers as being somewhat sombre and even a little austere; and yet the painting is direct and honest. It has real character and it draws you in and invites you to speculate. It is a masterful composition with fine lines and a brilliant interplay of colour and light and shadow. It was groundbreaking in its day and today remains one of the world’s great art works.

Why is art important for us?

Art expresses emotion, and a life without art would, be for me, mean living a life without soul. As Thomas Merton said “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Indeed, Henri Matisse stated, “creativity takes courage.” Whistler had courage.

What led you to curate?

I have a love of cultural history. I am passionate about art, architecture, history, travel and much more. My career as a curator and tour lecturer/leader has enabled me to combine these passions. When you curate an exhibition, write an article or talk in front of a monument, artwork or an audience you have an opportunity to share knowledge, experiences and ideas. Put simply, I love to tell a story.

Book your ticket for Kenneth’s talk, February 29th.

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