Pub Philosophy and Cartoons All in the Name of Modern Art

Posted: 18 July 2013

Blog category: News, Pubs

Cartoons from the cream of the nation’s professional cartoonists will be the order of the day in Shepherd Neame’s Herne Bay pubs this August, followed by a helping of philosophy over a pint, as part of the Marcel Duchamp Centenary Celebration. 
The festival, which runs from 1 – 17 August, marks 100 years since arguably the most influential modern artist Frenchman Marcel Duchamp visited the seaside town in August 1913.
Duchamp is famous for landmark challenging and contrary works such as The Large Glass or The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, inspired at least in part by a photo of Herne Bay’s pavilion lit at night and later his ready-made Fountain, a urinal which changed the path of modern art.
Brewer Shepherd Neame is sponsoring two events:

  • ‘Philosophy in Pubs’, a link up with the Philosophy in Pubs movement, particularly the London Philosophy Club, will host an open discussion on the influence of Marcel Duchamp on modern aesthetics. The debate will be moderated by award-winning writer and lapsed academic, Steve Coombes (M. Phil, Warwick); assisted by Dr. Ron Gallagher, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Monash University and Dr Robert Williams, editor of academic imprint Reaktion Books.
  • ‘Cartoons in Pubs’, will see a trail of cartoons from some of the UK’s most prolific cartoonists paying homage to Duchamp, who himself favoured cartoons and satire early in his career, featured in the toilets or ‘ready-made Duchamp Fountains’ of six of Shepherd Neame’s Herne Bay pubs.  The trail will include original cartoons from Ralph Steadman, Andrew Birch, Bill Stott, Martin Honeysett, Nathan Ariss, Mathew Buck, whose work has been featured in titles such as Private Eye, The Spectator, Punch,The Guardian and The Sunday Telegraph and Dave Brown of the Independent

The pubs are:  the Four Fathoms, the Rose Inn, Prince of Wales, Druids Head, Divers Arms and Hampton Inn. A launch event will take place on Saturday 3 August from 1pm with many of the cartoonist demonstrating their craft and creating on-the-spot cartoons.

Festival spokesperson, Steve Coombes says, “Shepherd Neame's sponsorship and support is a huge boost for the Marcel Duchamp Centenary Celebration.  Putting cartoons and philosophy in pubs really captures the spirit of the festival.  It's fun, inclusive and enabling, with something for everyone whatever your taste in art.
“Pubs have always been the centre of local communities: a creative place to meet, to joke and to debate the philosophical merits of everything and anything over a good pint. In other words, not just real ale, but surreal ale!”
Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame adds, “This is a hugely exciting initiative for both the local community and the art world at large and we’re delighted to be involved.  Our pub customers are in for a real treat with access to some outstanding original cartoons and we would urge people to come along and join in the debate!”
For more information on the festival