Denise Heywood Giving Talk on the Sacred Architecture of Laos

A lecture hosted by The Arts Society Ealing

Pha That Luang Vientiane. Picture: Jialiang Gao

March 19, 2024

The next lecture to be hosted by The Arts Society Ealing will explore the sacred architecture of Laos, particularly in Luang Prabang.

Denise Heywood will talk about some of the 32 golden and frescoed Buddhist temples, some dating from the 16th century, with tiered roofs that sweep to the ground. Inhabited mostly by saffron robed monks, Luang Prabang is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The talk will also look at the French legacy of elegant wooden houses with Lao motifs, built during the late 19th century, which blended harmoniously with Lao secular architectural traditions. Finally, there will be an examination of silk-weaving, once the preserve of the Lao monarchy, an ancient, traditional craft that has recently been revived.

Denise Heywood worked in Cambodia in the 1990s and has been a scholar of Southeast Asian art ever since. Her books include one on the Buddhist temples of Laos, Ancient Luang Prabang and Laos, and Cambodian Dance Celebration of the Gods, with a foreword by the daughter of King Sihanouk. She lectures for the Art Fund, for the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies on their post-graduate Asian Art Course, and for the V&A; also for Madingley Hall (University of Cambridge), the British Museum, the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, Asia House, the National Trust and the Royal Geographical Society.

This talk is at 7:30pm on Monday 25 March at St Barnabas Church Hall, Pitshanger Lane, Ealing W5 1QG.

Visitors are welcome to attend at £8 per lecture (reduced to £3 for students); payment can be made by cash on the evening or in advance by contacting:

The Arts Society Ealing belongs to the large umbrella organisation, The Arts Society, previously known as the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS), which was founded in 1968. The local Society, which has a membership of around 140, is now one of the 388 member societies of The Arts Society that have been formed throughout the United Kingdom, in parts of Europe and in Australia and New Zealand.

The Arts Society Ealing holds 10 lectures a year and more information can be found by visiting its web site.

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