Lindsay Clarke’s working life has been devoted to his two principal passions, writing and education. In both contexts he has tried to put the power of the creative imagination – in both its inventive and compassionate aspects – into the service of the radical evolution of consciousness, which he believes is seeking to happen in these transitional times. His first novel ‘Sunday Whiteman’ was shortlisted for the David Higham First Novel Award; his second ‘The Chymical Wedding’ was awarded the Whitbread Prize for Fiction in 1989; and his novel ‘The Water Theatre’ was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award. ‘Green Man Dreaming’, a collection of Lindsay’s essays, talks, poems and occasional pieces, was published in 2018,
Gary Lachman is the author of twenty-two books on topics ranging from the evolution of consciousness to literary suicides, popular culture and the history of the occult. A founding member of the rock band Blondie, in 2006 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He retired from music to take up BA in philosophy. He now writes for several journals in the UK, US, and Europe, lectures widely and his books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Drawing on the work of Owen Barfield, Goethe, Henry Corbin, Kathleen Raine, and others, and ranging from the teachings of ancient mystics to the latest developments in neuroscience, his book ‘Lost Knowledge of the Imagination’ draws us back to a philosophy and tradition that restores imagination to its rightful place, essential to our knowing reality to the full, and to our very humanity itself.
Valerie van Mulukom is an Experimental Psychologist & Cognitive Neuroscientist, Coventry University. Her primary interests are in the cognitive underpinnings of imagination and the psychology of belief, which she examines using methods from experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Her research takes place in the overlap between imagination, memory, creativity, and beliefs.
James Harpur has had six poetry collections published by Carcanet and Anvil Press, including his latest, The White Silhouette (2018), an Irish Times Book of the Year. Angels and Harvesters (2012), was a PBS Recommendation and shortlisted for the 2013 Irish Times Award. In his poem, Opera, he celebrates the imagination – “an impromptu school trip back in the day which was as much as an opera as the actual opera we went to see”.
Dana Simmons is a neuroscientist, science-artist, and medical writer in Chicago. While at the university, Dana transformed Purkinje neurons into art by testing the limits of confocal microscopy and adding an artistic touch. She is endlessly fascinated by the beauty in the brain and the patterns that are ever-present throughout microscopic and macroscopic nature. In 2016 she received the Passion in Science: Arts & Creativity award from the New England Biolabs.
Nicholas Wiltsher is a philosopher, working on imagination, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, phenomenology, and feminist philosophy. He is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow in the Centre for Philosophical Psychology at the University of Antwerp. In this exclusive interview he discusses his ideas on the relationship between philosophy and the imagination.
Matthew MacKisack is a cultural historian and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School. He has published numerous articles in intellectual and cultural history, focusing on how imagining and imagination have been employed and understood.
Gabriele Neher is Assistant Professor of History of Art, University of Nottingham with an expertise in Northern Italian Renaissance painting. One of her research specialisms focuses on the cultural relationship of Italian provincial centres to their dominant political counterparts in the Renaissance period.
Dr Denise Baden is an Associate Professor within Southampton Business School at the University of Southampton. She worked in the area of social psychology for 3 years before joining the Southampton Business School in 2005, where she has been engaged in research and teaching in the areas of ethics, entrepreneurship and sustainable business.
The ‘Drawing through Time and Image’ symposium, devised and organised by Jack Southern, took place at the Hardwick Gallery at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham during March 2018.
Guest artists and speakers included Dryden Goodwin, Barbara Walker, Tim Knowles, Jessie Brennan and Jean Boyd.