Members of The Arts Society Wirral enjoy meeting socially and our expanding programme of events encourages friendships and lively conversation.  Joining one of our outings or tours or Days of Special Interest is an excellent way to explore new places or to share time with a friend.  


Jo Mabbutt - Picasso Costume - Study Day

Monday 7th November 2022

Heswall Hall

10am to 3.30pm approx.

Artists and the Theatre

Joanna Mabbutt  

3 lectures, morning coffee and biscuits and a buffet lunch,


To reserve a place click the button.


First lecture starts at10.30
Jo will look at how perspective had a profound influence on theatre design from the Renaissance through the early development of opera and ballet.

Coffee and biscuits

Second lecture
Jo will focus on Serge Diaghilev’s work with composers, artists and dancers which had a notable impact on stage design and practice.

Buffet Lunch

Third lecture
Jo will explore later 20th century modernist and abstract designs, collaborations between painters and sculptors with choreographers and the long list of fashion designers commissioned to design for both opera and ballet.


Finishing at 3.30pm approx

For painters and sculptors the theatre exerts an irresistible pull. Scenery flourished from the Renaissance - artists Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael produced designs and devices for plays, fêtes and masques, the sculptor Bramante brought perspective to the stage. For the early Stuart court Inigo Jones devised evocative designs for court ballets. Serge Diaghilev commissioned over 20 avant garde painters such as Picasso, Matisse and Braque to provide scenery and costumes for the Ballet Russes and British ballet companies worked with home grown talent - Cecil Beaton, Oliver Messel and John Piper in the 1940s and 50s then later from the 1970s David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin and Gerald Scarfe amongst others who created designs for ballet and opera. Modern, abstract designs have evolved with Ballet Rambert working with Bridget Riley and sculptors have also contributed to choreography – Usamu Noguchi with Martha Graham and Anthony Gormley with Buddhist Shaolin monks. 

Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and Freeman of the City of London. Originally a trained singer, pianist and orchestra administrator, Jo is now a decorative artist who gilds antique lace and crochet, often combining with hand printing and painting.  She works to commission, sells through galleries and exhibitions and collaborates with other designers.


Jo trained in wood graining, marbling, gilding, specialist paint finishes and interior design and was awarded the City & Guilds Silver Medal for Excellence in 2000.  She taught in further education for 8 years on Art & Design National Diploma and Foundation courses then up-skilled at Central St Martin's College of Art & Design developing her own practice. She now divides her time as a designer/maker, lecturer and tutor running workshops for specialist groups.