“Secret Knowledge” : how artists have used lenses

Nick Pearson

19 Jun

OPEN Ealing Arts Centre W5 2TD


Class details

Did you know that David Hockney has researched 700 years of painting? His research gave him “secret knowledge” and during this week’s lecture Nick shares his thoughts on Hockney’s findings.

Monday 19 June


£10 including light refreshments

Have you ever found yourself wondering how the old masters were able to paint their subjects so realistically? How did they manage to portray three dimensional images on the flat surface of their canvases? David Hockney wondered the same thing. As part of his research into 700 years of painting Hockney studied a number of artists. In 2001 he published a book after presenting Secret Knowledge an intriguing television series on the subject. Charles Falco, an American optical scientist aided Hockney in his research.

Most people have accepted that Jan Vermeer used a camera obscura to help him create his fabulous paintings. But Hockney reckons the practice goes back much further and has continued into our own times. This view does not in any way diminish the achievements of the greats of western art history.

Nick has done his own research and studied Hockney’s book thoroughly. In today’s lecture he re-presents Hockney’s findings from his research; and presents a very convincing argument that shook the art historical world to its foundations!

After the lecture, Nick sends you the notes for your future reference.

We look forward to seeing you on Monday 19 June.


Course Details

OPEN Ealing Arts Centre W5 2TD

Dates: 19 Jun -
Monday 10:00 am
Fees: £10

About the tutor

Nick Pearson

Nick is an internationally exhibited artist and an enthusiastic lecturer. He has a passion for art of all period and teaches at various levels in schools, colleges, universities and adult learning centres; including

  • London College of Contemporary Art
  • Richmond Art School
  • OPEN Ealing
  • University of Oxford
  • Northampton University
  • Bradford College of Art

His artistic practice encompasses sculpture, drawing and photographic work. He creates large, wall-based works which explore formal relationships through shape and colour, often with a kind of abstract visual humour – but as in all collage, each constituent part has its own history and poetic meaning. Nick uses everyday objects in his artwork which he has often found or which have been discarded.

For more information on his work and exhibitions visit his website:

To book special, private tours (for birthdays, corporate events, etc) please email him:

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