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College lecture: Dr Knowles

College lecture: Dr Knowles

What a treat awaited our academic scholars and college students on Wednesday afternoon when Dr Knowles, a former teacher and current governor, presented his ideas connecting paintings and poetry.

Opening with a startlingly controversial quotation from Oscar Wilde, Dr. Knowles announced that 'All art is quite useless!' He then explored three paintings and four poems to prove that looking at the world through the 'mind's eye' of imagination is just as valid as viewing everything scientifically.

Firstly, Dr. Knowles connected Bruegel's painting with Auden's poetry. Then he explored how Pre-Raphaelite painter, William Holman Hunt, vividly brought to life the character of Isabella as Keats poetically depicted her. Moving forward, Dr. Knowles completed his presentation by considering the work of Paul Nash, an official war artist for both world wars, pausing to explore poems by W.B. Yeats and Stephen Spender.

He concluded that art and literature, far from being 'useless,' are what makes us human, reflecting our existence. To clinch his argument, he quoted Einstein's statement that 'Imagination is more important than knowledge' because it knows no bounds.

22 February 2024

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