Education through the Visual Technique

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There are two ways that we can see the majesty and splendour of the world; one is through our own eyes and the second is through the eyes of others. This can most often be achieved through the use of the visual arts, which are avenues through which an individual artist can achieve a new and unique interpretation of the world they see.


Through the visual arts, an artist combines technique and vision to share their intention with those who view their work. They use their art to reinvent the world they see and invest it with a new layer of meaning. Each person brings their own perceptions and preconceptions which synthesise with the intention of the artist to produce a unique and individual experience.


From the earliest cave paintings to Clive Head’s hyper realism, from simple sketches to monumental sculpture, from the Pre-Raphaelites to Picasso’s Guernica, the visual arts have commanded the power to make us think, confronting our attitudes and demanding a response, be it positive or negative. They speak to us on a level that we don’t completely understand and yet somehow we comprehend the message they carry.


Visual art can be accessible or challenging; comforting or striking; provocative or conventional. Some of the most powerful art is ahead of the curve and opens a door to both personal and collective futures.


Specialist Speakers


Clive Head


Clive Head is widely regarded as the leading British realist painter of his generation. He has achieved a worldwide reputation, with his work being held in private and public collections internationally and he has exhibited in many different locations, including New York, Virginia, London, Rotterdam, Montreal, Duisburg, Madrid, Bilbao and Norwich.


Born in 1965 in Maidstone, Clive studied Fine Art at Aberystwyth under David Tinker. Whilst at university, he met his future collaborator and fellow exhibitor Steve Whitehead. Following the attainment of his degree and postgraduate study at the University of Lancaster, Clive started to exhibit his work at the Colin Jellicoe Gallery in Manchester.


In 1994, he founded the Fine Art Department at the Scarborough Campus of York University, where he worked with Steve Whitehead, and became friends with the Head of Art History, Michael Paraskos, who was to write a book about him in 2010. During his time at Scarborough, Clive began to produce paintings in an urban realist style.


In 1999, Clive left the Fine Art department and joined a gallery run by photorealist artist Louis K Meisel. This led to his work being included in several of Meisel’s books on photorealism and led to more collaborations and far greater exposure for his work.


In 2005, to commemorate the Golden Jubilee, the Museum of London commissioned Clive to produce a painting of Buckingham Palace, which took a rooftop perspective on what is one of the most famous buildings in the world. In the same year, he joined Marlborough Fine Art in London and in his work began to use London subject matter.


In October and November 2010 three paintings were exhibited at the National Gallery, which drew record crowds and gained wide coverage in the media. The trio of paintings were of Haymarket, seen through almost 300 degrees, a cafe in South Kensington, both inside and out, and a stairway in Victoria Underground station.


In September 2012, Clive’s work was displayed alongside that of Nicolas Poussin, a leading painter of the French Baroque at Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, and in September 2014, his work was exhibited in Norwich as part of an exhibition on reality in modern and contemporary British painting.


See Clive’s presentation here


Helen Whittaker


Helen Whittaker is Creative Director and Artist/Designer to Barley Studio, York, a stained glass firm renowned for its conservation and new work. She has been restoring historic stained glass and designing new windows for ecclesiastical and secular buildings for 20 years, with commissions for Ely Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Southwell Minster, Worksop Priory and the RAF Club, London. More locally, Helen’s work can be seen at Beverley Minster, Selby Minster, York Hospital and the Parish Churches of Ellerton, Dunnington, Haxby and Stockton on the Forest.


Helen has an MA in Visual, Islamic and Traditional Arts from the Prince of Wales’ Institute of Architecture and a BA (Hons) from the University of Sunderland in Three-Dimensional Design in Glass and Ceramics. She is an Associate of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, Assistant to the Court and Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and a Craft Scholar of the Prince’s Foundation, having received the prestigious Hancock Medal for High Achievement. Since 1998, Helen has been a visiting tutor for the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London teaching the techniques of stained glass. She has also given many lectures on the subject of stained glass, and her own work in particular, to a variety of audiences.


See Helen’s presentation here


Event Information


The event is based around technology and communication and how we can use current methods and thinking to inspire the face of business and education today.


We are really excited about the event and have pulled together a fantastic line-up of speakers. All are leading experts in their respective fields. We have speakers from Apple, Microsoft and Google along with thought leaders, technology experts, spoken word professionals, international artists and even a UN investigator.


We know this seems a broad spectrum of speakers but we wanted to take people on a journey through communication, starting with new thinking and learning methods, reminding people of the power of the written and spoken word, the effect of art, energy of music and how we can use technology to get our ideas to a global audience.


Get your tickets here


TEDx event page


Please see our event schedule


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