The Art of Seeing
unfolding ways of wisdom
with Mary Attwood
Thursday 23rd February 2023
7:00pm-8:00pm (UK time) via Zoom
“The philosopher, even in his passions, acts only after reflection; he walks in the night but he is preceded by a torch.”
Philosopher, The Encyclopedie, 1765
We often think of philosophy as a theoretical concept or something which has just one meaning. But there are different ways or forms of wisdom which unfold rather than offer straight lines of learning. Many works of art from the past reveal little by little their inner meaning, requiring something on the part of the beholder to awaken before imparting their wisdom. They therefore often come to us in images, colours and forms which at first seem ambiguous and enigmatic, holding different meanings simultaneously. In this session, we will participate with one work of art which primarily embodies three distinct forms of knowing, each one a different state or stage of wisdom’s journey. Interwoven with this are suggestions of alchemical meaning through colour, of transitioning from the dark towards the guidance of light, and of the embrace of the phases of the human encounter with the the movements of the heavens and the earth. The image will not be revealed until the evening, but it is an image whose patron had a particular interest in the occult, alchemy, and in reviving ancient Greek philosophy.
For those who cannot attend live, there will be a recording available after the session has taken place. Simply book a ticket via the button below, and the recording link will be sent with the joining instructions.
Mary Attwood is an an art historian, author, mentor and business creative with a particular interest in the ways in which our perceptions of art can awaken us to a deeper, embodied dimension of being we have lost in our post-modern age. She is a founding member and co-director of the Centre for Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred, and co- founder and co-director of Dr Iain McGilchrist’s online archive of work. She holds a BA (hons) in the History of Art from London University where she followed her passion to study Italian late medieval and renaissance art and architecture, while also pursuing her interest in Eastern philosophy, qualifying as a teacher in yoga, meditation and mindfulness, and co-authoring two books published by Watkins. She holds an MA with distinction in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred.
Mary’s teaching and research seeks to offer a broader understanding of art, not as an object to be analysed, but as a living being alive with deep wisdom that may help us understand and re-discover what we have forgotten. By moving beyond a solely literal approach, particularly in relation to “high” or “great” art, ways of knowing and seeing can be revealed which may help us meet the complexities of modern living by offering a renaissance of humane and sacred values.