Mary Atwood

Art historian, Author, Lecturer and Teacher

Mary Attwood is an art historian, author, lecturer and teacher and was the founding Chairman of the Victoria branch of The Arts Society, London, a membership charity dedicated to enriching lives through the arts. She is also a qualified teacher in lifelong learning and a Yoga Alliance registered yoga, meditation and mindfulness teacher. She has also worked as creator, producer, publicist and script writer for her own production company and created an award winning line of wellness DVDs, created training courses and has ghost written two books published by Watkins.

Mary holds an MA with distinction in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred where her thesis, Rebirthing a Lost Vision of Renaissance Art, researched quattrocento Florentine Renaissance art from a broad context of ancient Greek philosophy, the neuroscientific approach of Dr Iain McGilchrist’s groundbreaking research on the different modes of attention of left and right hemispheres of the brain, archetypal psychology and Renaissance artistic approaches. This is currently being transcribed into a book. She also holds a BA honours degree in the History of Art, University of London, where her studies focused on Italian late Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture.

“I met Mary when she ran an art appreciation class. I was entranced by her knowledge – and the way she made a subject that could be thought of as ‘dry’ by some, totally fascinating!” D. Harding

Mary’s expertise lies in her scope of experience, practice and study in both academic Art History (which she has studied since the age of 16) with her research and practices of consciousness. She emphasises the importance of awakening to the potency of art beyond rationalising analysis, categories and styles, to include imaginative and felt responses; of bridging ancient half-forgotten approaches to art with consciousness, psychology and neuroscience; and re-visioning art from a broad inclusive perspective of metaphor and meaning, myth and imagination, intellect and history. She hosts salon style talks, gallery trips, discussions and study days for corporates and private clients as well as the charity Age UK. She teaches in adult education throughout London and Surrey, is a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art and presented a talk at Dr Iain McGilchrist’s conference in the Summer of 2019 entitled; Renaissance Art; A Harmony of the Hemispheres. Mary has written promotional pieces for high profile artists’ exhibitions and contributed to the artist Degard’s book, Celebrities and Icons?

Mary’s work has been described as addressing the heart of images and the heart of the seer, by offering what might be called a right hemispheric view of art enabling a broader context to emerge. Neuroscientific evidence has revealed that how we see art awakens epistemologies, greater states of inspiration, quiet insights, arouses the higher imagination beyond mere fantasy, opens eyes to see from different perspectives (problem solve), shift perceptions and an ability to embrace ambiguity. These qualities are essential in meeting today’s challenges, inviting philosophical questioning and encouraging a move through and beyond current reductionist viewpoints.

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