- Thu 25 May 2017
- Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre
- Entry $15
- Friends of the Gallery $10
- Students with ID Free
- Wheelchair spaces available. Free entry for a companion to assist an audience member who has a disability. Companion seat is automatically allocated when a wheelchair space is booked
- Booking essential
A discussion about Len Lye and Robert Graves' manifesto Individual Happiness Now
Since the 1990s the Monica Brewster Evening has been the Govett-Brewster’s headline public speaking event, bringing people from all parts of the globe to New Plymouth. In 2017 we’re changing up the style of the evening to a quarterly and more interactive style of speaking event, often with a panel discussion or in conversational format.
This month join Len Lye biographer Roger Horrocks in conversation with curator, poet, novelist, art writer, and visual artist Gregory O'Brien, as they discuss Len Lye and Robert Graves’ manifesto Individual Happiness Now, written as V2 rockets rained down on Britain.
The 76 year-old manuscript, A Definition of Common Purpose, is a collaboration between New Zealand-born artist Len Lye and notable British writer Robert Graves. It has been published for the first time, under the title Individual Happiness Now.
Roger Horrocks who edited the text for publication: 'The essay was written in 1941 at a time when the Nazis appeared to be winning the war and were planning to invade Britain. Graves and Lye were deeply disturbed because they felt the Nazis were winning the propaganda war. Winston Churchill and other leaders were not explaining clearly what the Allies were fighting for. Politicians were afraid that ‘the moment they left the area of pious platitude,’ they ran into arguments and controversies. And so they kept to clichés. In response, Graves and Lye set out to explain what freedom and democracy really mean'.
‘Now, all over Europe and in the United States, there are extreme-right politicians questioning the idea of a diverse, free, democratic society, just as the Fascists did. Also, the propagandists for ISIS on social media are making converts even among some young people in the West. Our leaders are not doing a good job of explaining the values we must protect. I think Individual Happiness Now will offer a great starting-point for that discussion,’ says Horrocks.