Personally, I’m rather keen on brains and brain-related things. So it’ll probably come as no surprise that I’m rather excited about the Barbican’s upcoming Wonder Festival devoted to the mind, including a weekend (March 2nd-3rd) focused on all things brainy. Ahead of the British Neuroscience Association’s festival at the Barbican in April, this season throughout March and April looks to explore the much intertwined relationship between neuroscience and the arts, through a series of talks, workshops, film showings, comedy, theatre and music events. It’s a collaboration with the Wellcome Trust, who were also behind that rather brilliant Brains exhibition last year.
Amongst the events on over the season are a few crafty sessions to help people get creative as they get to grips with a bit of neuroanatomy, including sessions where you can knit a neuron and dissect a jelly brain. I’m not sure if these events are more aimed at kids, but they sound right up my street. Ruby Wax is doing a talk on her experiences of depression, there are showing suitably mind-related films (including Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind), amongst many other things. Another rather trusting looking event is ‘The Salon Project‘, an interactive theatrical experience where “You will be costumed in full period evening dress before emerging into a mirrored impression of a 19th-century Parisian salon. As you mingle with guests, pioneers in their fields will provoke discussion, speaking on subjects at the vanguard of 21st-century thought: science, politics, technology and the arts.” Which sounds wonderfully bizarre. I love this entire theme, involving science and art in a way that can get people to think (ha) about the brain and how they interact with their world, in new and creative ways.Watch this space for a report after I’ve been!