The Art of Seeing with Mary Attwood – £10
A Harmony of the Hemispheres:
Dr Iain McGilchrist’s framework of the two brain hemispheres
Thursday 9th September 2021, 7-8pm (UK time) by Zoom
Email for joining details: email@example.com
“If the doors of perception were cleansed,
everything would appear to man as it is,
This online session, The Art of Seeing, runs every month on a drop-in basis. You do not have to commit to any number of sessions. Each session is recorded so if you are unable to attend in person, you can book in advance and receive a recording.
On 9th September 2021, we will be taking the framework of Dr Iain McGilchrist’s discoveries about the left and right hemispheres of the brain when looking at one work of art. Contrary to popular science, the left hemisphere is not the all-knowing, sensible hemisphere and the right hemisphere is not fluffy and all about emotions and imagination. In fact, as McGilchrist points out in his book, The Master and His Emissary, both hemispheres are responsible for almost everything. It is not what they do, but how they do it, the quality of attention they pay towards the world that enables us to see in two very distinct ways. We will take McGilchrist’s approach with our work of art. As he emphasises in his book, we need both hemispheres in order to see works of art with primacy given to the right hemisphere, which ultimately allows us to see through surface appearances into a sacred realm beyond. As usual the work of art will not be revealed until the evening.
General Overview of The Art of Seeing sessions
We know how to read a book and get lost in the other world of the imagination, and we allow ourselves to be moved emotionally and viscerally by music, but have we lost our visionary capacity when it comes to looking at works of art?
Just one work of art becomes the focus of our attention and discussion each month. By slowing down and taking time with one work of art, we are able to hear its own language as we enter a mode of active seeing, of receptivity and openness. Detail, character, emotion, gesture, atmosphere, nuances and subtleties allow us to both look at and see through the image that are simply not possible from rushed or fleeting glances. When we spend longer than a few minutes looking, we are able to engage more embodied responses which include imagination, visualisation, contemplation, meditation and reflection, all modalities of knowing and seeing that are just not attainable from a rational mode of looking. From here you may detect the image’s metaphoric or symbolic meaning. There will be time for discussion and sharing your own perceptions and insights.
This class will be £10 per person. Email Mary Attwood directly to book at firstname.lastname@example.org