In October 2014 I was invited to speak and deliver a workshop at the University of Edinburgh, organised by Dr Catriona Mcara as part of the Luminate Festival of Creative Ageing. This event followed on from my Bloomsbury Festival in a Box project, linking that research to Dr Mcara’s work on the memory boxes and other ‘heirloom’ works created by surrealist artists Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012), Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), and Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), each of whom worked into their nineties. Our projects were united by a shared interest in memory boxes, ageing, and in what might loosely be termed the ‘practical’ applications of surrealism as a form of creative practice. We thought this would also be an appropriate way to marked the 90th anniversary of the founding of the surrealist movement in 1924.

During the workshop we played several rounds of the ‘Exquisite Corpse’, and created a social ‘festival in a box’ of found objects and other paraphernalia generated during the day.

Dr Mcara’s write up of the event is available on the Institute of Advanced Study in the Humanities’ (University of Edinburgh) website here.

From the Luminate Programme:

Michael Eades (University of London) and Catriona McAra (University of Edinburgh) explore creative approaches to dementia care. From games, to the creation of personal memory boxes, the event highlights the role of surrealist art in understanding and living with dementia. It includes a demonstration on ‘how to make a festival in a box’ incorporating poetry, photography, ceramics and storytelling.

10 October 2014