Tag Archives: Literature

David Buss: Jim Dale – ‘RHL, The Man in the Mirror’

In 2016, Jim Dales’ debut novel, ‘RHL, The Man in the Mirror’, was published, which is based loosely on the Dutch Master, Rembrandt. ‘RHL, The Man in the Mirror’ does not present a flattering portrait of the man whose artistic oeuvre is universally recognised as that of an outstanding master. We observe Dales’ Rembrandt as artist, husband, father, lover, teacher, employer and businessman, a mortal with negative as well as admirable characteristics, a three-dimensional and believable character.

Memory: What exactly happened?

Garry Kennard is a painter, writer and founding director of Art and Mind (www.artandmind.org). A fascination with how the brain reacts to works of art has lead Kennard to research, write and lecture on these topics. With Rita Carter and Annabel Huxley he devised and directed the unique Art and Mind Festivals which attracted leading artists and scientists to explore what light the brain sciences can throw on contemporary culture.

Creativity and Metaphor video blog

Featuring – Sir Ken Robinson: Can Creativity Be Taught? ; an interview with David Cope ; ‘Beautiful Minds: The Enigma of Genius’: a discussion between Brian Greene, R. Douglas Fields, Philip Glass, Rex Jung, Dean Keith Simonton, Julie Taymor and Marcus du Sautoy ; and ‘Madness Redefined: Creativity, Intelligence and the Dark Side of the Mind’: a discussion between James Fallon, Kay Redfield Jamison, Susan McKeown and Elyn Saks

Creativity and Language

Creativity in language has conventionally been regarded as the preserve of institutionalised discourses such as literature and advertising, and individual gifted minds. In this exclusive interview, Ronald Carter, Emeritus Professor of Modern English and bestselling author, explores the idea that creativity, far from being simply a property of exceptional people, is an exceptional property of all people.

Utrechts Psalter 2016 A.D.

In the first months of this year, twenty Dutch artists with a background in comics devoted themselves to the early medieval songbook Utrecht Psalter. They had received an assignment from the Utrecht University, who have custody of the book, to illustrate one given psalm in their own, modern style. Their orientation material was the ancient text and accompanying ancient drawing, each filling about half of the surface of the Psalter’s parchment pages, giving the book, at first sight, a strong resemblance to a modern graphic novel. Also, upon closer study, one learns that the illustrations sometimes follow the Psalms, stanza after stanza, in elaborate non-linear compositions. Every one of them drafted in a flexible but accurate, clear style that is emotional and almost cartoonish.

The artists were asked to add to their work no, or minimal text, for that would be placed integral next to the image in the final publication; and if they designed a serial structure for their narrative they were asked to do this without frames. For their content no restrictions were imposed, contrary to the original illustrator team – monks who then had to operate within the church hierarchy- so any religious or political connotations would be the artist’s individual choice.

This resulted in a broad variety of works that were publicly displayed in the landmark Utrecht Dom cathedral in April 2016, and bundled in the ‘Utrechts Psalter 2016 AD’ album (which can be obtained through www.de-inktpot.nl). (Information on the original Utrecht Psalter can be found at http://psalter.library.uu.nl/)

You can read below how, in this task, the creative process from six out of these twenty artists has run. (Albo Helm)

The Encounter: A new play by Complicite/Simon McBurney (review)

Simon McBurney’s new play, The Encounter, transports us into the humid depths of the Amazon, his storytelling served by the enveloping presence of binaural technology. In 1969, National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre became hopelessly lost in a remote part of the Brazilian rainforest while searching for the Mayoruna people. His encounter was to test his perception of the world, bringing the limits of human consciousness into startling focus.

Threading scenes of his own life with details of McIntyre’s journey, McBurney incorporates objects and sound effects into this solo performance to evoke a rainforest landscape. Transmitted direct to the audience through provided headphones, the show’s ground-breaking sound design plugs into the power of the imagination, questioning our perceptions of time, communication and our own consciousness.

In Their Right Minds: The Lives and Shared Practices of Poetic Geniuses (a review by Garry Kennard)

In 1976, Julian Jaynes proposed that the language of poetry and prophecy originated in the right, “god-side” of the brain. Current neuroscientific evidence confirms the role of the right hemisphere in poetry, a sensed presence, and paranormal claims as well as in mental imbalance. Left-hemispheric dominance for language is the norm. An atypically enhanced right hemisphere, whether attained through genetic predisposition, left-hemispheric damage, epilepsy, childhood or later traumas, can create hypersensitivities along with special skills. Dissociative Others may arise unbidden or be coaxed out through occult practices. Based on nearly twenty years of scientific and literary research, this book enters the atypical minds of poetic geniuses Blake, Keats, Hugo, Rilke, Yeats, Merrill, Plath and Hughes by way of the visible signs in their lives, beliefs, and shared practices.

Paying attention – the disappearance of Rosa

Paying attention – the disappearance of Rosa ‘One way to achieve a more tranquil state of consciousness is through aesthetic perception. This is a special state of perceptual consciousness, where we apprehend some spatio-temporal object and discern through this object, the Platonic Idea that corresponds to the type of object in question. In this special […]

Genius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway

An unabashed original, John Horton Conway is Archimedes, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, and Richard Feynman all rolled into one–a singular mathematician, with a rock star’s charisma, a sly sense of humor, a polymath’s promiscuous curiosity, and a burning desire to explain everything about the world to everyone in it. Tony Robbin reviews his recent biography by Siobhan Roberts.

Tantric Song (Blog Link)

Tantra Song is a singular and revelatory collection of rare Tantric paintings made anonymously by adepts in Rajasthan and used to awaken heightened states of consciousness. The paintings’ magnetic, vibratory beauty—as well as their deep affinity with 20th century abstract art—inspires acute attention and boundless contemplation.