Mind, Body and the Euston Road

Autumn 15 WTC #5:

From Dr Finlay’s Casebook to Tibet’s Secret Temple

30 Euston Square was acquired by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)in 2010 to become its new headquarters. The foyer is a public space, with exhibits in glass display cabinets, including Susie Freeman’s incredible wedding dress made of contraceptive pill ‘sequins’, and props and artefacts from the hugely successful television series, Dr Finlay’s Casebook.

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Across the road, at the Wellcome Collection:

Ann Veronica Janssens: yellowbluepink

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Ann Veronica Janssens’s sensory installation reminds us of the richness of our interaction with the world; a personal universe of experience constructed within the confines of our skulls.

Emily Sargent, Curator, Wellcome Collection

It is all too easy to go about our daily lives, having conscious experiences, without appreciating how remarkable it is that we have these experiences at all. Ann Veronica Janssens’s piece returns us to the sheer wonder of being conscious. By stripping away many of the features that permeate our normal conscious lives, the raw fact of experiencing is given renewed emphasis. Janssens’s piece reminds us of the important distinction in science between being conscious at all (conscious level: the difference between being awake and being in a dreamless sleep or under anaesthesia) and what we are conscious of (conscious content: the perceptions, thoughts and emotions that populate our conscious mind).

Anil Seth, Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience
Co-Director, Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, University of Sussex

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‘Tibet’s Secret Temple’ explores Tibetan Buddhist yogic and meditational practice and their connections to physical and mental wellbeing.The exhibition features over 120 objects including ritual artefacts, including the apron of bones…

PROMPT

One of the first exercises when learning the practice of Mindfulness is to eat a raisin incredibly slowly, savouring the texture before even thinking about chewing, and not drifting into associations, but trying to remain focused on the here and now. This is what the yellowbluepink installation is also encouraging us to experience. 

Thinking about how we use ritual in our own lives you are invited to –

1 Create your own mindful ritual – where might it take place

 2 Design your own ritual artefacts – what objects would help you to focus on the here and now?

You may write about these in whatever form works – as if you are the narrator on a self-help recording, or as a list, or in the third person…

Go to the page: ‘Mind, Body and the Euston Road’ for writing from today.

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About claire collison

Writer, photographer, creative facilitator, and breast cancer survivor, I am currently Artist in Residence at the Women's Art Library (WAL) My first novel was a finalist in the Dundee Book Prize, and my short stories and poetry have appeared in print and online. In 2015 I was awarded second place in the inaugural Resurgence Prize, the world's first eco poetry competition, judged by Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. This blog began as a space for words generated on my walking/writing workshops at the Mary Ward centre in Bloomsbury - Writing the City (WTC). WTC has since grown to include many other venues, including the Museum of Broken Relationships, the Barbican, the River Rom, Southwark Woods, Aylesbury Estate, and most recently, as part of Walking Women festival, An Intimate Tour of Breasts. I have worked with Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, as the recipient of the first Max Reinhardt Literacy Award, designing teaching resources; and for The Photographers' Gallery, helping school children develop visual literacy as part of 'Seeing More Things'. If you would like me to design a workshop or walk for you, please be in touch!
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