Wednesday 6th January 2021 – Giles: His Life, Times and Cartoons

Giles: His Life, Times and Cartoons

The Giles Grandma Statue, Ipswich

The Giles Grandma Statue, Ipswich
© Jim Linwood on Flickr

Used under Creative Commons Licence

Wednesday 6th January 2021

Barry Venning

The cartoonist Carl Giles once said that he loved his creation Grandma Giles – that fearsome, black-clad, gambling, drinking battleaxe – because she allowed him to say things through his cartoons that he was too polite to say in person. She helped him to poke fun at authority in all its forms, from Hitler to traffic wardens and even his employers at the Daily Express, who didn’t trust him and had sub-editors scouring his cartoons for subversive background details.

His admirers included Prince Charles, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Tommy Cooper, and it was no surprise when he was voted Britain’s best-loved cartoonist in 2000.

Giles gave us a remarkable picture of a half-century of British life. He was also, as his editor John Gordon put it, ‘a spreader of happiness’ and ‘a genius…with the common touch’.

Barry Venning is an art historian with a particular interest in the work of JMW Turner. His interests and his teaching extend from medieval architecture to contemporary British art. He is currently Associate Lecturer with the Open University and lecturing on a freelance basis for The Arts Society and Christie’s Education.

This lecture was streamed online on Wednesday 6th January 2021 at 11:00am.

Click here for our February lecture