“Eloquent Brain”, Connected Commuities, Somerset House

Eloquent Brain and Community Utopias at Utopia Festival, Somerset House, London

Exciting weekend this past weekend 24th – 27th June. Eloquent Brain was taken with the Dementia and Imagination team to Somerset House, London to take part in the Utopia Fair. More wonderful drawings were added to the drawing bank,  so now plans are afoot to decide where to next to install this ever growing envelope drawing and make more visual connections ?

But in the meantime watch the film.. filmed by Culture Colony for the Somerset House Connected Communities Utopia Fair.

https://vimeo.com/170798499 Full film 20 minutes.

https://vimeo.com/170660286 5 minute excerpt.

Taking inspiration from the 500th anniversary of the publication in 1516 in Latin of Thomas More’s Utopia, the 2016 Connected Communities Research Festival has the theme of Community Futures and Utopias. From March to June 2016 the Festival is supporting activities across the UK bringing together researchers and communities to creatively explore diverse perspectives on community futures and what ‘utopia’ means for communities in the 21st Century.

The Festival is being undertaken in partnership with The Somerset House Trust as a part of Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility.

The creative responses from the workshops will be shown at the Connected Communities fair in Somerset House between 24th-26th June, and will also include interactive activities with the artists.

Eloquent Brain is an art installation originally concieved as a site-specific piece for Llawn 02 in Llandudno. Eloquent brain is the part of brain tissue which is responsible for sense and speech. Surgeons tag or bookmark areas of eloquent brain in order to avoid them when required to operate on damaged tissue.  The artwork consists of thousands of envelopes wedged upright using the gaps between floor- boards as support. Envelopes immediately indicate correspondence and their emptiness raises questions. Are these envelopes representing letters that were never written, or thoughts and  memories  that could not be put into words ?  Since the installation many of the empty envelopes have been transformed into further artworks by those participating in the Lost in Art, Dementia and Visual Arts sessions, held in both Oriel Mostyn, Conwy and Rhyl, Denbighshire. A drawing session on the 14th April 2016, will use Eloquent Brain’s empty envelopes for an ink group drawing exploring the theme of Dementia Friendly Utopias, all invited, all ages and all styles.  On completion the drawing will become once again physically separate envelopes, fragments of a collaborative drawing which belong together but can be interpreted and presented differently depending on its arrangement. The drawing will be rebuilt in a grid format and displayed in Studio 6, Ruthin Craft Centre from April 18th.

Thanks to Denbighshire Arts Services, Dementia and Imagination, Connected Communities, Ruthin Craft Centre.


At the end of September I began an eleven week course of Lost in Art at Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno. Lost in Art, are weekly visual art sessions that explore creativity, visual arts and dementia and are supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Conwy and Denbighshire Arts Services.


Envelopes removed for Lost in Art.Lost Envelope 1

At the end of September, 2015 I removed 1,000 empty envelopes from the ‘Eloquent Brain’ installation at Haus of Helfa  in order to provide paper supports for works to develop throughout the Lost in Art course.


Posted in Works in Progress.

One comment

  1. Ginny bennett 20 April 2016, 6:22 am

    Dear Lisa
    I love the ideas you have here.I am interested in starting talk and draw sessions with some student nurses as more of a reflective social exercise they can use for their professional well being.

    Do you have any tips for getting this started please?


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