My next art show is coming up soon. My idea is inspired by the Memory Theatre. This is an ancient mnemonic device used by actors and rhetoricians to commit long speeches to memory. The memory places are niches, or altars that contain imagery (the more outlandish the better) that facilitate recollection of the text. In ancient times, these features were incorporated into the design of theatres.
My idea is to make this part of the process of creating the work for my show. I’ll start with the basics: clean up my studio and create a series of 10 altars which I will decorate with whatever imagery will facilitate recollection of a long poem. At the same time I’ll prepare 10 canvases which will correspond with each of the memory stations. These paintings will comprise the exhibit.
I haven’t decided on a poem yet but maybe one of William Blake’s medium-length works will serve. This memory process will be concurrent with the creation of 10 paintings inspired by each of the memory stations. The art show’s theme will be continuous with the theme of the poem.
The whole process from straightening out the studio to “completion” of the paintings will be documented in this blog with photos, text, video and recordings. Stay tuned.
6 thoughts on “The Memory Theatre-Idea for my Febuary art exhibition”
Wow! Great idea. Please let us know how it goes!!
Thanks Jeff- Do you have any ideas on what poem I should memorize? I want it fairly long. I like the Romantics.
Your painting at the top is wonderful—and what a great experiment you are entering into. It will be so interesting to follow your process.
I’m glad you like it. It’s a mixed media drawing of an altar or memory station.
Such a wonderful idea…I look forward to following the interplay of poetry and painting.
Thank you Cynthia. I appreciate the kind words.