Artist Elizabeth Carefoot will give a free illustrated talk at the Surrey Art Gallery on Nov. 6.

Tales and images of the Middle East uncovered

Artist Elizabeth Carefoot explores facts and fantasies of the sultan's harem during a presentation at the Surrey Art Gallery Nov. 6.

Curious about the history of harems and how they’ve been represented?

On Nov. 6, Surrey-based artist Elizabeth Carefoot will explore the facts and myths of the sultan’s harem as part of the Thursday Artist Talk speaker series at the Surrey Art Gallery.

In her illustrated presentation, she’ll question the tales and images about the Middle East brought home by early travellers and painters from Europe and the West, such as languid women in sensual poses lounging on cushions or around a pool sniffing roses.

“We are all familiar with the evocative paintings by artists of the time, but how true to life are these?” Carefoot asks.

Carefoot’s interest in the Middle East has spanned 40 years and has strongly influenced her art practice. She has worked in many different types of media including fibre, pottery, oil, latex, and watercolour, although she currently considers herself a fabric artist. Carefoot retired after a long career at the Instructional Media Centre at SFU Burnaby. Over the years, she has served on several boards, and currently sits on the Surrey Art Gallery Association. She was recently awarded a 2014 Civic Treasure Award from the City of Surrey to celebrate her outstanding contribution to Surrey’s cultural sector.

Thursday’s talk is free and begins at 7:30 p.m. There will be time for questions and conversation during and following the talk. The event concludes by 9 p.m. Refreshments are provided. This event is presented by the Surrey Art Gallery Association in partnership with the Surrey Art Gallery, and with support from the Arts Council of Surrey.

Surrey Art Gallery Association (SAGA) is a non-profit society that offers its members the opportunity to participate in and respond to contemporary art, and be part of a community that actively supports the Surrey Art Gallery.

Surrey Art Gallery is located at 13750 88 Ave. For more information, call 604-501-5566 or check



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