Hot Topics April 2019

Fiona welcomed 64 members, 3 new members and 2 guests to our meeting on Monday 15th April, 2019.

Fiona encouraged everyone to say hello and chat to one another, especially guests and new members.

Eileen has taken over the running of the Facebook page to show what we are doing in our group. There is also a members’ only part of the site to which you can apply and Eileen will enable you to enter the site. News will still come to members by post in hard copy if required.

Lesley spoke to members about the trustees who we voted for last month. Resolutions: – smear tests and bus services were both strongly supported. If accepted these resolutions will become part of the WI campaign. Briefing notes are available on the website. We will vote on the resolutions at the next meeting

Lesley mentioned the initiative which will take place on 26th June concerning climate change. Organised by the Climate Coalition there will be a mass lobby outside Westminster from 1.00pm to 4.30pm to speak to MPs about protecting the climate and environment. More information on

Fiona asked members to be sure to tell the committee if they have any particular activity or outing that they would like us to organise.

Fiona spoke to members about possibly capping our membership at 110. We currently have 100 paid up members (the hall can seat 140 maximum) – following a discussion it was agreed not to cap the membership.

Margaret advised members that beginning on Friday 3rd May at 2.30pm to approximately 5pm there will be a monthly meeting of ‘Crafty Ladies’ in the upper restaurant at Ely’s Department Store in Wimbledon. Margaret encouraged members to bring along any hand held craft they wish and they will be welcome to come to every meeting or just to attend now and again.

Wendy has advised that the amount raised at the Quiz held at Merton Park Church Hall for our chosen charity, Jigsaw4U, is £972.74.

Book sale/Jigsaw swap – members gave books and bought books and Jigsaws were swapped and a total of £61.70 was raised.

Guest Speaker: Our speaker, Jan Young (Art Expert), gave a fascinating talk about ‘Looking at Art’. Jan told us that studies have shown that on the whole people only look at paintings in Art Galleries for approximately 2 minutes. They tend to spend longer looking at the label beside the paintings than they do actually looking at the work of Art.

Jan tells us that young people today tend to look at moving images more than still images and unless they learn to look and ‘read’ a still image they will eventually lose the ability to do so.

Jan showed us, and explained, how to identify materials, signs, colours, shapes and symbols within paintings that tell us about what we see. Jan explained to us about the juxtaposition of the people in the pictures and how to interpret their dress, their expressions and gestures and what these all tell us about what is happening and what the artist wishes to convey.

Jan mentioned that all of the pictures that she showed us this evening are part of the collection which is hanging in the National Gallery and she encouraged us to go there and see them for ourselves.

Jan took us through discoveries and developments in paint over the years and the gradual improvements in brush manufacture. She also explained about the growth of understanding of colour, the use of colour and the relationships between various colours. Jan is so well informed and she gave us such an entertaining and thought provoking talk that the evening flew by. We all felt that we had learned a lot from Jan in a thoroughly enjoyable way.

Jan ended her talk by inviting members to visit the National Gallery and look at the paintings with her in the week beginning 13th May 2019. Details will be circulated before then so that members can sign up to this visit.

Fiona advised members that at next month’s meeting we will have a talk from an art teacher from Sutton College who will instruct us all in how to draw a still life picture. Also please bring along any plants/seedlings/spare seed packets etc. for the plant sale. Thank you.