Canterbury Decorative & Fine Arts Society (CADFAS)

Founded in 2001, CADFAS (Canterbury Decorative and Fine Arts Society) was the first NZ overseas member society of The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) in the UK. The success of the Society is built on the high quality of the monthly lectures which are given by lecturers of proven ability who are specialists in their field and are endorsed by The Arts Society. CADFAS is twinned with both the Harrogate and Brisbane River Societies.

CADFAS Programme Details

The lectures are held in the Charles Luney Auditorium, St Margaret’s College, 12 Winchester Street, at 7.30 pm on a Monday evening. They last approximately one hour and wine and sandwiches are served afterwards. Guests of current CADFAS members are most welcome ($25.00 per guest) and $15 for visiting members of other New Zealand DFAS Societies but we would appreciate their names in advance so name tags may be prepared. Please phone or text Jan Rutherford 027 227 7149 or Libby Harrop 027 473 0028.

our 2024 programme

In 2024 we offer a mix of accredited The Arts Society lecturers from the UK, two from New Zealand and one Australian-based lecturer. Six of these will be with us in person and two will come via live broadcast from the UK. With the online lectures, there are opportunities to view additional topics from home, tuning in to the lectures hosted by the other Societies around the country.

We hope that things will run smoothly but will be ready to adapt our programme arrangements if necessary.


Our subscription for 2024 is $140.00 per person. Subscription notices are sent out in October and are payable by 31st October.

Returning members:  Please make payment by internet banking and ensure you include your last name and initials in the Reference field.
If you have changed any contact details please complete the CADFAS Membership Form 2024 and return to :

New Members:  Please download the CADFAS Membership Form 2024 then complete and make your payment according to the directions on the form.

Canterbury – 2024 Lecturer Biographies and Topics

John Walsh

Canterbury Lecture Date : Monday 18 March 2024 – 7.30pm

John Walsh is a writer specialising in architecture. He edited Architecture New Zealand magazine from 2002 to 2011 and was managing editor of several leading design magazines before working as communications manager for Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects. He is the author of a dozen books on New Zealand architects and architecture, including City House, Country House: Contemporary New Zealand Homes (2016), Big House, Small House: New Homes by New Zealand Architects (2012) and Home Work: Leading New Zealand Architects’ Own Houses (2010). He edited the publications accompanying the New Zealand exhibition at the 2014 and 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. Latterly, he has written guides to the architecture of Auckland (2021), Wellington (2022) and Christchurch (2023), published by Massey University Press, and with photographer Jane Ussher published Rooms: Portraits of Remarkable New Zealand Interiors.


In each of New Zealand’s four main cities you can still see 150 years of architectural history – despite urban growth and changes in economic fortune, seismic events, and civic carelessness. Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin all retain buildings representative of the international architectural styles and movements that over the past century and a half have enjoyed their moment, from the Gothic Revival through Modernism to contemporary computer-aided shape-making. But although they shared architectural styles, the cities had their own particular histories and characters, and these too can still be read through their buildings. Drawing on his recent series of architectural guides to New Zealand’s four major cities, John Walsh traces the stories of the country’s most significant buildings, and of the architects who designed them.     

Dr. Natalia Murray

Canterbury Lecture Date : Monday 22 April 2024 – 7.30pm

Dr. Natalia Murray was born in St Petersburg where she gained BA and MA in the History of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts before taking the PhD course at the Hermitage Museum. In 2015 she has been awarded PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art. At present she works as an independent curator and an associate lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art where she teaches her MA course on the role of the exhibitions and private collections in Europe in 1863-1930. In 2017 she curated a major exhibition Revolution. Russian Art. 1917-1932 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. She is currently working on several exhibition projects in London, Paris and US. Her latest exhibition The World as Non-Objective. The Birth of a New Art which traced the development of the new abstract art from Chagall to Malevich, was opened with high acclaim at the Jewish museum in Moscow in November 2022. Her books and articles extend across the wide field of 19-20 century European art, and she has featured in films and art programmes on BBC 4, BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. Natalia is also trustee of the Avant-Garde Art Research Project – a UK-based charity which shares one of her aspirations to reduce the number of fakes on the art market.


One of the finest collections of Impressionism anywhere in the world was assembled by the English industrialist and philanthropist Samuel Courtauld (1876-1947). During the 1920s, he acquired seminal works by all of the major Impressionists, at a time when Impressionism still struggled to gain acceptance among English public institutions. After a decade of collecting, Courtauld gave the majority of these remarkable works to establish The Courtauld Institute of Art and Gallery in London. This lecture will explore Courtauld’s collection and his role in promoting Impressionism in the United Kingdom.

Peter Medhurst

Canterbury Lecture Date : Monday 27 2024 – BROADCAST LIVE FROM THE UK – 7.30pm 

Peter Medhurst appears in the UK and abroad as musician and scholar, giving recitals and delivering illustrated lectures on music and the arts. He studied singing and early keyboard instruments at the Royal College of Music in London and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He has presented events at all of the major concert venues in London – the King’s Place, the Barbican, St John’s Smith Square, and the Royal Festival Hall – on subjects that range from Beethoven String Quartets to 18th Century Venetian culture.  Radio work has included Classic FM, Radio 3, and Radio 4.  His recordings number For Two to Play, Schubert Songs, Handel and His Satellites, Tyme at the Virginalls, and On Christmas Night – a programme of Christmas carols and seasonal songs.


When Mozart was in London in 1765 the newspapers reported that for £2/6 the public could hear him play at the Swan and Hoop, Cornhill on a harpsichord and upon it a handkerchief without seeing the keys. He was just nine years old at the time. Mozart’s childhood was filled with tricks, adventure and experimentation and never before – or after – had there been a musical prodigy of such lasting genius and promise. The old adage travel broadens the mind was certainly the case with the boy and as he made his way around Europe with his family, performing in venues that ranged from taverns to palaces, his exposure to the musical centres of each country he visited, set him up musically for the rest of his life. Peter Medhurst tells the story of Mozart up to the age of 10 years. He discusses and plays a selection of works from these early years (including the very first piece to survive) to reveal one of the greatest real life musical dramas of all time.

Note: With his online lecture circuit, Peter will be delivering six unique lectures to all the NZ Societies so there is an opportunity to view additional topics from home. Details and links will be sent in advance.

Sarah Burles

Canterbury Lecture Date : Monday 1 July 2024 – 7.30pm

Sarah Burles studied History of Art at Cambridge University before doing a master’s degree at University College London. She went on to have a career in museum and gallery education, establishing new services in three different museums before working at the Fitzwilliam Museum for many years.  Sarah is the founder of Cambridge Art Tours, which runs tours and courses in and around East Anglia. She is also a Tour Director for a travel company and has led tours to Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and America. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Sarah moved her work online, offering art history courses to audiences all over the world.


Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge has been described as “one of the country’s most intimate and spellbinding museums, the collection of one man and his unerring eye; restorative, homely yet life-changing”. This man was H.S. ‘Jim’ Ede, curator, writer, collector and friend to artists. In1957, he opened his Cambridge home to university students as “a living place where works of art could be enjoyed… unhampered by the greater austerity of the museum or public art gallery.” His collection included works by Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska which were carefully placed alongside pieces of furniture, ceramics and natural objects. His curated home remains, by and large as he left it, characterised by its unique atmosphere, fascinating juxtapositions and personal connections. This lecture will discuss the life of Jim Ede, his collecting, his vision for Kettles Yard and its enduring legacy.

Charlie Waite

Canterbury Lecture Date : Monday 5 August 2024 – broadcast live from the UK – 7.30pm

One of the world’s leading landscape photographers, he has lectured for 25 years throughout the UK, Europe and the US. Has held numerous one-man exhibitions in London, exhibited twice in Tokyo, and was awarded the prestigious honorary Fellowship of the British Institute of Professional Photographers, as well as a Direct Fellowship by the Royal Photographic Society. In 2007, he launched LPOTY – UK Landscape Photographer of the Year. Amongst many publications, the most recent includes Landscape; the Story of 50 Photographs (2005), and Arc & Line (2011). He was invited by the Royal Academy to exhibit in 2015’s summer exhibition.


Landscape photography is a way of life and is an essential method of expression for Waite. In discussing his work, Charlie refers to ‘pre-visualisation’ first used by the great American landscape photographer Ansel Adams from which he draws much inspiration amongst others. “It is the creative act of the artist-photographer who, in visualising a poetic or revealing image within the scene in front of him, anticipates what the final print must convey to express what he sees and feels”. Charlie refers to Ansel Adams and other artists and photographers who have inspired him and shaped his work.

Note: With his online lecture circuit, Charlie will be delivering an additional topic to view from home. Details and links will be sent in advance.

Kathleen Olive

Canterbury Lecture Date : Monday 9 September 2024 – 7.30pm

Kathleen’s PhD was a study of artisanal culture in Renaissance Florence, through the lens of a goldsmith’s commonplace book known as the Codex Rustici. She lived and studied in Italy for a number of years, and then taught Italian language, literature and history at the University of Sydney. Kathleen now works with Academy Travel, leading tours to Europe and, particularly, Italy.


It is often assumed that the art and architecture of Norman southern Italy should be strongly tied to the invaders’ own French or adopted Italian influences. In this lecture, Kathleen investigates the Islamic and Byzantine models for Sicily’s imposing monuments. We consider why the monarchy chose to conflate two such disparate aesthetics in its iconography and how this reflected or advanced the power and wealth of the dynasty. Considering Palermo’s glittering Palatine Chapel, for example, or Cefalù’s imposing cathedral we uncover the values and taste of the Normans in Sicily.

John Francis

Canterbury Lecture Date : Monday 14 October 2024 – 7.30pm

John Francis is an experienced University Lecturer, consultant, researcher and visual artist. He grew up on Merseyside and was educated in Fine Arts and pedagogy in the UK and New York. An inspirational speaker who has delivered lecturers and workshops in the US (Texas, California, Massachusetts), Beijing, Malaysia and the UK, John initially trained as a painter and was awarded the Max Beckmann Memorial Scholarship in painting in Brooklyn, New York and went on to be artist in resident for the state of Texas. Later in his career John produced and directed several short films and animations. He has taught film, art and pedagogy at the University of Exeter, Arts University Bournemouth, University Sains Malaysia, Southwestern College, California, Brunel University, London and Kingston University. Lectures and workshops.


The Wall Street crash in 1929 led to a questioning of the success of the American dream. President Roosevelt stepped in with the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and the New Deal. The government initiative meant employment for over eight million largely unskilled Americans and importantly 5,300 artists. Murals, painting, photography, graphic design all flourished. In this lecture we will explore some of the key artists at this era. The abstract painter Jackson Pollock will be evaluated along with the social realism of Dorothea Lange and Ben Shahn. The soundtrack of the era is provided by Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rogers.

Jill Trevelyan

Canterbury Lecture Date : Monday 18 November 2024 – 7.30pm

Jill Trevelyan is a writer and curator based at Pukerua Bay near Wellington. Her books, published by Te Papa Press, include Toss Woollaston: A Life in Letters (2004), Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life (2008), Peter McLeavey: The Life and Times of a New Zealand Art Dealer (2013) and Robin White: Something is Happening Here (with Sarah Farrar and Nina Tonga, 2022). Jill works part-time as Art Manager at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Te Manatū Aorere.


Whanganui artist Edith Collier (1885-1964) spent nine years in England from 1912-1921, painting some exceptional works, including a series of modernist portraits. Jill is currently co-editing a book on Collier which will be launched, with an exhibition, when the Sarjeant Gallery reopens after a major refurbishment project in mid-2024.

CADFAS Supporting the Arts

New Zealand’s very first DFAS, the Canterbury Society continues to support arts projects in the city.

YOUTH ARTS PROGRAMME : The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu delivers a Youth Arts Programme and CADFAS financially supports the transport for low decile school children to attend the programme, enabling school children to enjoy what is now one of the safest and most inspiring art museums in the world.

Contact CADFAS


Chair : Judith Knibb / | Mobile: 027 348 1205 | Home 03 355 2098

Deputy Chair : Anna Thomas | Mobile 021 375 930

CADFAS , P O Box 36507, Merivale, Christchurch 8146