Winter Tour – Transformative Seeing – from distant spectator to “beholder” of art.

Sunday 10th February 2019

10.00am – 4pm

The V&A Museum, London

Organised in association with The College of Psychic Studies

“Seeing is like hunting and like dreaming, and even like falling in love….Ultimately, seeing alters the thing that is seen and transforms the seer.” James Elkins, Art Historian

Many of us have been moved by a work of art or had our curiosity ignited for reasons beyond our understanding. Ancient philosophers, poets, visionaries, seers and artists themselves have recorded something out of the ordinary when it comes to art and images, expressing a deep and profound order of reality. Yet often the information we are given about art focuses only on the historical and thus the art we see then changes into an object to be analysed. Not only is something implicit in the image lost, but we also shut down something in ourselves by not acknowledging our responses.

In today’s world, it feels even more vital that we do not close off our senses in order to cope, but that we re-awaken and engage with that which we see.  Art provides us with one of the most fully inclusive and transformative ways with which to do so, because we awaken to the true meaning of beauty, which is appearance itself, through the inner and outer senses. It is both a doorway and a threshold into the mystery and unity at the heart of existence, whilst engaging us viscerally and soulfully.

Yet we need to know how to look and make meaning from our encounters with art. A recent study revealed the average time spent looking at an image in a gallery is between five and eighteen seconds. Art requires that you bring forth different qualities of attention from within, which alters both what you see and transforms your attention, your consciousness.

Emphasis will be placed on looking slowly and carefully, engaging imaginatively and intuitively, with limited comment from your guide.  This will allow for your own experience moving from distant spectator to the “beholder”. Guidelines will be given beforehand. You will then browse the gallery discovering which image “speaks” to you and record insights from your encounters. We will gather at the end our session to discuss, share reflections and questions where you will discover how to include your perceptions into a much broader context of meaning, a transformative learning process in itself.