The Sahara as palimpsest.

The next Arts Society Coventry lecture, on Tuesday May 24th, provides insights into the richness and variety of art from what many regard as one of the most inhospitable places in the world – the Sahara. Eamonn Gearon, an author and historian who also describes himself as ‘a recovering journalist’, who has lived and worked across the greater Middle East – from Kabul to Casablanca – for more than 20 years, and will talk about The Sahara as palimpsest.

The word ‘palimpsest’ was originally used of ancient papyrus scrolls that had been not-quite-erased and reused, but now more commonly refers to artistic or cultural works that are built upon or retain traces of previous creativity or cultures. In this talk, he will the complexity of cultural layers left and built upon by those who have inhabited, passed through and been inspired by the world’s greatest desert, revealing a creative history of the world’s greatest desert, from rock art and myth to the desert fathers, sons of the desert, Klee and Matisse, to Schultz and Lucas.

As well as living in the Sahara with the Bedu, Eamonn conducted a number of solo, camel-powered expeditions … and has never lost money when re-selling a camel. Don’t miss this fascinating speaker!

Tuesday 24th May 2022

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, doors open 6.30 pm, lecture 7.00 – 8.00 pm
Free to members, non-members £10 at the door, students £5
For membership offer, email

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