Conversations Without Words
With Nicky Clayton and Clive Wilkins
Wednesday 17 April at 8pm
Straw Bale Room at Schumacher College
This evening will focus on Conversations Without Words. During the course of which, ‘Tango’, that most passionate of dances, will be used to demonstrate ideas discussed and explore the notion of thinking without words and beyond words. Thinking without words is an alternative way of capturing thoughts~ a new way of thinking. In essence we are talking about the subjective experience of thinking, of using our imaginative powers to think outside the box.
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Nicky is the Professor of Comparative Cognition in the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Clare College. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2010.
Her expertise as a scientist lies in the contemporary study of how animals and children think. This work has led to a re-evaluation of the cognitive capacities of animals, particularly birds, and resulted in a theory that intelligence evolved independently in at least two distantly related groups, the apes and the crows. She has also pioneered new procedures for the experimental study of memory and imagination in animals, investigating its relationship to human memory and consciousness, and how and when these abilities develop in young children.
In addition to scientific research and teaching, she is a dancer, specializing in tango and salsa. She is also Scientist in Residence at the Rambert Dance Company, collaborating with Mark Baldwin, the Artitsitc Director, on new choreographic works inspired by science (Comedy of Change, 2009; Seven For A Secret Never To Be Told, 2011; What Wild Ecstasy, 2012).
Her most recent collaboration with artist Clive Wilkins arose out of their mutual interest in imagination, and its consequences for consciousness, identity and memory. They also regularly dance tango together.
Clive has worked as a fine art painter and has exhibited widely, including at the National Portrait Gallery, London on several occasions. He has also exhibited at the Royal Academy and in private galleries in Cork Street, London – where he had a one man show in 2007. His work can be found in public and private collections. Clive has produced portraits of Sir Howard Hodgkin and Sir Peter Blake amongst others and has been presented publicly to HRH Princess Royal.
His writing and paintings have been in print on numerous occasions, most notably in his published work ‘The Creatures in the Night”, a story written and lavishly illustrated by Wilkins in 2008.
His current project, ‘Moustachio’, is a novel in four parts, of which parts 1 & 2 are complete. It explores imagination and questions aspects of consciousness and reality amidst the miasma of being.
He currently lives in the heart of England. In addition to writing, he continues to be a painter, teacher, performer and tango dancer.