Royal Academy: When science meets art: the art of sleep with Russell Foster and Tom Hammick

27 March 6:30 pm

Friday 27 March 2020

6.30 pm


Professor of Circadian Neuroscience Russell Foster and artist Tom Hammick discuss the effect of different sleep patterns and nocturnal working on an artist’s practice.

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, FRS FMedSci 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.

In this series of events, organised in partnership between the RA and The Royal Society, we examine the creative connections between art and science.

Tickets: Royal Academy of Arts

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