Courses 

“Mary does not ‘teach’ as such;  she introduces a painting (or an artist, or an idea) and then enters a process of mutual discovery as a co-explorer, always stimulating an attitude of ‘gazing’ and encouraging a heart response.   She fosters the development of  individuals having an openness of vision to perceive what is going on in themselves as well as what the basic intention of the artist might be. Mary’s classes are inspirational.   They have a spiritual dimension in the broadest sense, and encourage the participator to find their ‘inner eye’ to perceive not so much facts and figures about artists and art history, but how art can change us.   At the same time, Mary is very kind and attentive to all her students, and respects everyone’s contribution.   Her classes are wholly accessible both to folk who have in-depth experience of ‘art appreciation’ and those who have little.”

Veronica Bennetts

 

Art is not merely an object to be analysed, but embodies the ancient mystical traditions, the great philosophical questions, psychology and modern neuroscience.

Encountering Great Art through Carl Jung’s

Active Imagination

A four week course

Thursday 13th, 20th June & Thursday 4th & 11th July 2024 

6.30pm – 8.30pm UK time via Zoom

£80

 

In this four week course we will encounter just a few great works of Art and explore them more deeply through Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s Active Imagination.  Having been described as a framework through which to experience the imaginal realm, the role of Active Imagination is to not take us away from the world, but re-engage us with it. Working with great works of Art, already imbued with both human creativity and imagination, and an almost super-human quality, is a potent way to bring us back to our senses, our aesthetic responses, as well as re-integrating our understanding of ourselves in a bigger picture of meaning.   Each chosen work of Art comes from a period in the Western tradition where the true imagination was revered either through the artists’ eyes and / or through an artistic movement which sought to return imagination to the world. These will be:

 Italian Renaissance

Baroque

Romanticism

Pre-Raphaelite

Post-Impressionism

Jung maintained that the psyche was made up essentially of images and first termed the “active imagination” as a psychic function combining conscious and unconscious elements. He describes a receptive state of pure being to allow the unconscious to come up and take the lead, while the conscious mind acts as a scribe. For Jung, the role of the conscious mind was the most important, so as not to be overwhelmed by an “all enveloping phantasmagoria” preventing the images from conveying their true healing power. References will also be made to both the similarities and differences of Active Imagination to McGilchrist’s Hemisphere Theory and to James Hillman’s research into images.

Guided by the works of Art themselves, each encounter will be unique, allowing for you to explore as fully as possible your own innate creativity, writing, reflections, insights, intuitions, imagination and meaning-making. 

This course will be recorded if you cannot make the scheduled time.  To book your place please do so via the PayPal button below. If you are not a fan of PayPal, please email me at info@maryattwood.com.

This course is £80

Awakening Beauty

A two week course on Beauty in Art

Monday 19th June & Monday 26th June 2023

10am – 12pm UK time via Zoom

£40

 

“Beauty can be consoling, disturbing, sacred, profane; it can be exhilarating, appealing, inspiring, chilling. It can affect us in an unlimited variety of ways. Yet it is never viewed with indifference: beauty demands to be noticed; it speaks to us directly like the voice of an intimate friend. If there are people who are indifferent to beauty, then it is surely because they do not perceive it.”

Sir Roger Scruton

This two week course will explore beauty in Art across a broad time frame to modern day. We will firstly consider how beauty is defined and whether it is only in the eye of the beholder or perhaps, it is in fact something which embodies universal truths. We will question how interconnected is beauty with the divine? How has beauty shown her / his face? The goddess Venus or Aphrodite, the divine feminine and masculine, goodness, kindness?

When our attention to beauty diminishes and when we cease co-creating with it, we need to be concerned. In our modern day, we seem to have neglected beauty in Art and in Architecture and in doing so we have neglected a crucial part of ourselves. We need beauty as much as we need food. But our views of beauty today have become distorted. As the depth psychologist James Hillman said, beauty is not ‘prettiness’.

Guided by the works of Art themselves, we will look at when beauty first awakened and was brought into the tangible images we now call Art as we explore some extraordinary works from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Romanticism and the Impressionist period.  As we move forward in time we will see how works of art changed in a period which I term ‘when beauty slept’ – the period of industrialisation and interestingly, a time when the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales had only recently been written, including the Sleeping Beauty. We will look at how some artists took the story of Sleeping Beauty as subject matter for their painting and what this might mean symbolically. We will venture into the world of Modernism in Art and ask whether beauty is still present, revealing and then concealing her / his face.  This course will be visually rich and historical facts will be linked to ‘bigger picture’ thinking with philosophers such as Sir Roger Scruton, James Hillman, the artists themselves and from ideas about beauty from the periods we will cover, ultimately asking can we awaken beauty in our world today?  

This course was recorded and is available for purchase via the PayPal button below.

Current Courses

Encountering Great Art through Carl Jung’s Active Imagination

Encountering Great Art through Carl Jung’s Active Imagination

Encountering Great Art through Carl Jung's Active Imagination A four week course Thursday 13th, 20th June & Thursday 4th & 11th July 2024  6.30pm - 8.30pm UK time via Zoom £80   In this four week course we will encounter just a few great works of Art and...

Past Courses

Recordings available for purchase

 

Monet – his life and works at Giverny – 2 week course

Monet – his life and works at Giverny – 2 week course

Monet - his life and work at Giverny   Two week course This course was recorded. Following on from a visit to Monet’s house and gardens at Giverny in France, this two week course take a visual tour through art works and through photographs of his time at his beloved...

Stories and Myths in Art

Stories and Myths in Art

Stories and Myths in Art    Five Week Course, Mondays 21st Feb, 28th Feb, 7th March, 14th March, 21st March 2022   Over the course of five weeks we will explore the world of art and the stories they convey that have inspired people for thousands of years to the...

Annunciation in Art – call and response – March/April 2023

Annunciation in Art – call and response – March/April 2023

Annunciation in Art - the call and response   Two week course Monday 27th March & Monday 3rd April 2023  "There is some kiss we want with our whole lives, the touch of spirit on the body." Rumi In celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation on 25th March, this...

Lives of the Great Artists – 6 week course

Lives of the Great Artists – 6 week course

Lives of the Great Artists  6 week course Over the course of six weeks we will explore the lives and works of some of the Western tradition’s greatest artists spanning the late Medieval period to the current day. At a time when our cultural depth is seriously deprived...

The Classical Tradition in Art

The Classical Tradition in Art

The Classical Tradition in Art  Why has the classical tradition been such a constant source for architects, artists and sculptors? How did this ‘style’ or way of showing its visual forms evolve and develop? For ancient cultures, the classical proportions, harmony and...

Stories and Myths in Art

Stories and Myths in Art

Stories and Myths in Art Five Week Course. Over five weeks of this course we will explore the world of art and the stories they convey that have inspired people for thousands of years to the present day. This is a world rich in the imagination, in word and in...

Why We Need Art

Why We Need Art

Why We Need Art  Exploring ways of seeing Art: Neuroscientific, Psychological, Philosophical and the Mystical  £15  This session will include both theory and participation as we take a journey through the ways in which art can be perceived; from the neuroscientific,...

Seeing Masterpieces with Fresh Eyes

Seeing Masterpieces with Fresh Eyes

Seeing Masterpieces with Fresh Eyes  This day workshop is my first time teaching in person since lockdown so I am very much looking forward to it. This session will invite you to look at some well-known works of art with a different perception, or ask if that is even...