Léon Spilliaert’s battle with insomnia played a key part in the production of his mysterious night-time scenes created following his nocturnal walks around his hometown of Ostend. Taking Spilliaert’s work as a starting point, Professor Russell Foster and artist Tom Hammick will examine how changes to our natural circadian rhythm, our sleep/wake cycle, and exposure to lightness and darkness may affect the mind and discuss how nocturnal working practices can influence an artist’s creativity and inspiration.
Russell Grant Foster, CBE FMedSci FRS is a British professor of circadian neuroscience, the Director of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology and the Head of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute.
Tom Hammick is a British painter and printmaker who has work in many major public and private collections and was the winner of the V&A Prize at the International Print Biennale in 2016. He curated the exhibition Towards Night at Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne in 2016, which featured over 60 artists, from Edvard Munch to Louise Bourgeois. His most recent exhibition of his own work, Night Animals was at Flowers Gallery in 2019.
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In this series of events, organised in partnership between the Royal Academy of Arts and The Royal Society, we examine the creative connections between art and science.