The Examiner (Tasmania), Tarlia Jordan
28 Apr 2017, 3 p.m.
An international specialist in Buddhist art and culture will host a lecture in Launceston.
Zara Fleming, from the UK, will discuss the development of Tibet from the 6th century right through to the present day.
Fleming has had an interest in Tibet since her seventh birthday.
“My teacher told our class about the Chinese invasion of Tibet and the flight of the Dalai Lama into exile. Our school then raised funds for Tibetan refugee children. From then on I became fascinated by Tibet,” she said.
Fleming went on to study European art history and Museum’s
“At this time I knew nothing about Asian art and worked in antiques. Aged 21, my grandmother died and left me 200 pounds for travel, so I went overland to Nepal and worked in a school there,” she said.
“I learnt about Tibetan culture, met Tibetans escaping, met the Dalai Lama and when I returned to the UK got a job in the Victoria and Albert Museum, transferring to the Indian department.”
Fleming said Tibet was the biggest change.
“When I first went there it was the Tibet of my dreams, but today Chinese presence is everywhere,” she said.
Locals have been allowed to rebuild some of their monasteries and attend some religious ceremonies, Fleming said.
“I am always moved by the spirit and the resilience of the people,” she said.
Fleming has worked for a number of years a the Victoria and Albert Museum being responsible for the Tibetan and Nepalese Collections. She then catalogued the Tibetan and Mongolian collections at Bonn University.
She has also been a guest lecturer and tour guide on numerous trips to the Himalayas and recently edited Masterpieces of Mongolian Art volume 1.
Fleming said she had many happy memories of being in Tibet, including visiting the Takstang Temple with no other tourists in the vicinity on her first trip to Buhtan. Seeing the Buddhist murals and being proposed to were some of the highlights.
“We went back there last year to celebrate 40 years,” Fleming said.
Fleming’s lecture is open to the public and will be held on Tuesday, May 9 at the Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre at the University of Tasmania’s Newnham campus.
The lecture starts at 6.15pm. Tickets are $30 including refreshments. For information visit adfas.org.au.