The Art of Seeing sessions

Every object well-contemplated opens a new organ of perception in us.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Without even knowing it, a space arises between ourselves and the words on the page of a book when reading, or when listening to music, something that evokes our senses, our imagination, our emotions, our heart, into an expansive landscape… but have we lost our visionary capacity when it comes to looking at works of art?
Art was created to awaken the sense of sight and seeing through the ‘eye’ – not just as a ‘re-presentation’ of reality or emotion, but as a moment by moment presencing (as McGilchrist describes the attention of the right hemisphere of the brain). The eye is not just a literal, mechanical function of the human body which interprets the surface reality we see around us, but a window able to perceive something that comes through the world of phenomena, and therefore Art. The eye has different ways of engaging with and interpreting those phenomena. The eye and seeing are a form of understanding the world through the imagination, through the heart, through a sense of revelation and reason, and through a sense of the spiritual and of something ‘other’ than just ourselves.
Just one work of art is the focus of our attention and discussion each month. Different frameworks help to guide us into the work of art: the four senses hermeneutic; active imagination; the beholder’s share; myth; word through literature or poetry; enchantment; embodied cognition…
While each framework is different and has different affects, what each session share in common is the disintction between us and the image, where we are both drawn into the image and stand apart from it simultaneously.
Slowing down to firstly take time to really look and observe an image moves us out of linear time and into a different mode of seeing. Here we re-engage with what we see –  character, emotion, gesture, atmosphere, nuances and subtleties presented through the image that are simply not possible from rushed or fleeting glances. When we spend longer than a few minutes looking, we are also able to engage more embodied responses which include intuition, that are just not attainable from a rational mode of looking.
This is not to neglect the historical, rather it adds to the historical other modes of seeing and knowing we have forgotten in our modern age.
These sessions are £10 per person. Email me directly to book at info@maryattwood.com or you can use the PayPal button on each individual listing.

 

 Dates for 2024

Thursday 25th January 2024

Thursday 29th February 2024

Thursday 28th March 2024

Friday 26th April 2024

Thursday 30th May 2024

Thursday 27th June 2024

Thursday 25th July 2024

Thursday 29th August 2024

Thursday 26th September 2024

Thursday 31st October 2024

Thursday 28th November 2024

Thursday 19th December 2024

Current

Past Sessions

Recordings available for purchase

 

 

The Art of Seeing –  Impressions of Spring through Word and Image

The Art of Seeing – Impressions of Spring through Word and Image

The Art of Seeing Impressions of Spring through Word and Image - Emily Dickinson and an Impressionist Painter Thursday 28th March 2024  7-8pm UK time via Zoom £10  "A Light exists in SpringNot present on the YearAt any other period —When March is scarcely here..."  A...

The Art of Seeing – Joy and Love through the Christian Mythos

The Art of Seeing – Joy and Love through the Christian Mythos

   The Art of Seeing   Joy and Love through the Christian Mythos Thursday 14th December 2023  7-8pm UK time via Zoom £10 "Joy does not merely illuminate our interior landscape, it transforms it. The world becomes different, marvellous and unique." Sister Wendy Beckett...

The Art of Seeing – the Myth of Eros and Psyche

The Art of Seeing – the Myth of Eros and Psyche

   The Art of Seeing   the Myth of Eros and Psyche Thursday 30th November 2023  7-8pm UK time via Zoom £10 "But as Psyche wept in fear and trembling on that rocky eminence, the Zephyr's kindly breeze with its soft stirring wafted the hem of her dress this way and...

The Art of Seeing – the Myth of Echo and Narcissus

The Art of Seeing – the Myth of Echo and Narcissus

The Art of Seeing   the Myth of Echo and Narcissus Thursday 26th October 2023  7-8pm UK time via Zoom £10 "He knows not what he sees, but what he sees invites him. Even as the pool deceives  his eyes, it tempts them with delights. But why, o foolish boy, do you...

The Art of Seeing – Vision and Ekphrasis

The Art of Seeing – Vision and Ekphrasis

The Art of Seeing   Vision and Ekphrasis Thursday 28th September 2023  7-8pm UK time via Zoom £10 "Free-heartedness, and graciousness, and undisturbed trust, and requited love, and the sight of the peace of others, and the ministry to their pain; - these and the blue...

The Art of Seeing – the Enchantment of Nature

The Art of Seeing – the Enchantment of Nature

The Art of Seeing   the Enchantment of Nature Thursday 24th August 2023  7-8pm UK time via Zoom £10 "I strove with none, for none was worth my strife: Nature I loved, and, next to Nature, Art: I warm’d both hands before the fire of Life; It sinks and I am ready to...

The Art of Seeing – the contemplation of Beauty

The Art of Seeing – the contemplation of Beauty

The Art of Seeing   The contemplation of Beauty   Thursday 20th July 2023   7-8pm UK time via Zoom £10 “At any time between 1750 and 1930, if you had asked educated people to describe the aim of poetry, art or music, they would have replied ‘beauty’.” Sir Roger...

The Passion of Christ – April 2023

The Passion of Christ – April 2023

Following on from Easter, this month’s Art of Seeing session will focus on one painting telling the story of the Passion of Christ. Scenes of the Passion came to the forefront of religious art from the 1200s, at a time when both Francis of Assisi and Ibn’ Arabi, in different parts of the world, emphasised a move from the intellectual pursuit of the mystical in the head, to the heart and imagination.

The Ancient Egyptian Goddess – March 2023

The Ancient Egyptian Goddess – March 2023

The Art of Seeing The Ancient Egyptian Goddess  Thursday 30th March 2023  "The Egyptians lived with an awareness of what might be called the imaginal - a non-physical yet objective reality that we become aware of through the human faculty of the imagination. They...

Unfolding Ways of Wisdom – February 2023

Unfolding Ways of Wisdom – February 2023

  Unfolding Ways of Wisdom   Thursday 23rd February 2023   7-8pm 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...