Journey, Image and Space-the Memory Palace Workshops

This post is also available in: 简体中文 Chinese (Simplified)

Memory Palace workshop at Gobi Heaven festival August 2019

I know a few things about ‘ear wind’, that little tornado of loss. Having struggled with Chinese language acquisition over the years, far too often I have had vocabulary and phrase learning gush in as ‘ear wind ‘ ….that is in one ear and (alas!) out the other. I recently started using memory palaces to help retain some smatterings of vocabulary. Strangely enough it has opened up unexpected worlds and other roads of curiosity. For example: I am finding time to read more books and actually taking notes of things I want to remember from those books. A couple of months ago I found myself sitting in a Beijing writers group listening to writers respond to other peoples writings (fascinating!). Even some of my attempts to remember dreams were partially successful ….. a chink in the door to other worlds! An improved memory undoubtedly expands the quality of living. The trick however is to make the discipline a daily practise.

Image , Space and Memory – the Memory Palace workshop at Gobi Heaven
Niamh Cunningham

I decided to share some introductory ideas at a workshop at the Gobi Heaven Festival. The above photo is of a workshop on remembering numbers.

Spatial Memory:

We retain detailed spatial information on places we use frequently, such as homes, offices , shops, cafes, classrooms, subway stations, the spaces and therefore floor plans can remain in our memory for a long time. For example I have made a palace to remember a poem using classrooms and the gym of my old school St Leos, Carlow, Ireland dating back almost 40 years ago. I recently went back to visit it. Some of those buildings no longer exist but they exist strong and firm in that memory palace.

Building your stations:

  1. Never trap yourself into a dead end
  2. Keep in a linear fashion, avoid crossing your own path generally keeping your journey to the sides of a space.

When planning your path way start from the innermost point, often a bathroom works well and work your way outwards so you end at the front door. If you need to extend your memory palace to store more information on that subject/ lesson/ poem, book , collection of passwords, collection of peoples names, at a later point you can go out the street and extend to a neighbour’s house or a park or restaurant.

My portrait studio: choosing a linear path with numbered stations which lead out to an exit

Image Making so you can code for your information:

Your movie clip situation can be shocking and action packed using either items or peoples names which can carry the sounds of the information. The action that is happening in this situation can carry the meaning of the information. You have to work for your own ways of encoding and this will take time to see what works for you.

To encode your information into a visual happening, it might be a dramatic type of cartoon action, unexpected, the more ridiculous the better! Sometimes action packed cartoon violence works.

What is Debbie Harry doing in my memory palace ? —
station 16 : 打败 (da bai)

What is Debbie Harry doing in my Memory Palace?

See the image for 打败 (da bai) : I borrow 80’s singer Debby Harry from the band ‘Blondie’, she is sitting on my friend Fiona’s couch . I used my friend’s childhood home to build a memory palace to remember a Chinese lesson. Here is Debbie Harry smashing… (unsuccessfully) a lobster ! Debbie (to me) sounds like Da Bai which means ‘unsuccessful’ or ‘defeated ‘. The part of the character 贝 (bei ) means shellfish so I use the lobster with an impossibly hard shell in the image. The part of the character 打 (da) can mean to hit /strike/fight . Debbie Harry is using a huge hammer unsuccessfully to try to crack the lobster shell. The person in this scenario carries the sound of the information Debbie – (da bai) (打败) As I happen to already know the character for shellfish 贝 (bei) which is part of the complete character for 打败 (da bai) I will compound this action movie clip using a hard to crack lobster shell. The action of unsuccessfully trying to crack the hard shell of the lobster carries the meaning of the word or phrase.

A sample of a memory palace for encoding poetry

10. Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
11. Far off by furthest Rosses We foot it all the night,
12. Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
13. Till the moon has taken flight

some lines from the poem Stolen Child WB Yeats , translator Li Liwei

Needless to say , using imagery for English language is so much easier for me.

planning the pathway for stations in a room..

A big thank you to participating artist and friend Li Xinmo and also to memory palace enthusiast Joyce (LiuQing) for kindly stepping in to translate for these workshops.

I intend to explore further the role of image , journey and space both in my making of art and future workshops. 2019 is the year for my portrait series and development of the Sucrose Series. 2020 will provide new possibilities to investigate journey, image, space and memory.

A huge thank you to Anthony Metivier of the Magnetic Memory Method for opening this new pathway, lets see where it leads!

Niamh Cunningham- Bio 。。。个人简介-倪芙瑞莲
My interview with Today Art Museum and Today Art Media on the COVID era

Recent Interview , click on above image April 2020

Link to newspaper coverage -Carlow Nationalist (click on image)

In Her Eyes, F&E 100x100cm acrylic on canvas, 倪芙瑞莲Niamh Cunningham 2019

Recent ‘China-Ireland’ exhibition Shanghai Nov 29th 2019

China Ireland exhibition at MUSEu&m, Shanghai , opening Nov 29th

Current Sculpture project HongFangzi ShaWan Sichuan
‘Whirls in the Old’ in New York at the exhibition ‘1919’

1919-Whirls in the Old Terezin acrylic on canvas 30x30cm Niamh Cunningham 2019

Gobi Heaven Art Festival August 2019

Participating in the International Artists program for this exciting event in the Gobi Dessert

Group Exhibition , Hamilton Gallery , Sligo, Ireland
Granary Art exhibition SiShui Shandong June 2019

Granary Art Exhibition SiSHui , Shangdong June 2019 click on image

Swim Duck Video …30 sec clip of original work recently shown at Bloomsday event at Embassy of Ireland Niamh Cunningham 2019
clip from Swim Duck video Niamh Cunningham 2019

Clip from 'Swim Duck' Video by Niamh Cunningham 2019

Group exhibition in Sishui, Shangdong 正在展出

Granary Art Museum , Sishui, Jining , Shandong

April /May 2019 in Budapest 近期展出匈牙利

Currently showing in Budapest Aprli- May 2019

Wandering Rocks series of portraits 游岩系列
Talk on James Joyce at Bookworm with prof Fu Hao 乔伊斯座谈会
Aritst Talk on James Joyce at Beijing Bookworm

Talk on James Joyce at Bookwork Beijing April 2019

RTE interview on preparing for upcoming group exhibition 2 min clip
Web Of Fabulous Grass – Sucrose Series Click on image for Artist Profile English &简体中文
Artist talk at Beijing Geely College Dec 11th 2018
Map and Territory project Nov -Dec 2018 at Beijing Geely University
Map and Territory

Map and Territory

Current Events 正在展出

 

即将展出:

*2019年11月装置中国—红房子首届国际户外装置创作营在乐山沙湾红房子开营 …开始阶段

 

正在展出:

2019年11月”中国 爱尔兰  MUSEu&m , 上海

 

最新动态:

*2019年11月装置中国—红房子首届国际户外装置创作营在乐山沙湾红房子开营 …开始阶段

 

*2019年8月*Gobi Heaven- August 戈壁。天堂-八月

*2019年7月”1919″ 爱尔兰  Sligo -Hamilton Gallery  

*2019年5月“胜日寻芳“ 山东济宁市泗水等闲谷艺术粮仓美术馆

*2019年4月-5月在匈牙利首都布达佩斯

*2019年4月”奥德赛——回归”群展2019年4月13日在东岳美术馆开幕。

*2018年11月-12月“地图与疆域”国际艺术邀请展 北京吉利学院

*2018年11月-12月“纸上·至上”展览,韩国光州市立美术馆北京创作中心

*2018, 10月中欧国当代艺术全球巡展·上海

2018, 9月-10月“纸上·至上”展览,沈阳市拓•空间,

2018, 6月-11月诗人叶芝日,爱尔兰,斯莱戈(SLIGO),汉密尔顿艺术画廊

*2018年8月 淮阴艺术馆提名展,淮安市

*2018, 8月 “纸上·至上”展览, 鄂尔多斯,

*2018 , 6月30日 济南“国际抽象艺术展”

*2018 , 6月17 日 纸上•至上2018 在青岛,

*2018 , 5月20 日存在-国际女性艺术展,湖南长沙,

*2018 , 4月21 日延缓的时间,4月21日-29日,红门画廊,798艺术区

*2018 , 4月20 日 挖掘,,和画廊,来鹏高尔夫俱乐部

*2018年4月-12日 挖掘, , 展览,悦美术馆,北京798艺术区

*2018年2月-3月深圳观澜版画艺术区,5个星期驻地项目

*2018年1月28日-3月3日,《红&果》,流浪美术馆融空间,新年主题艺术展,北京中关村融科资讯中心

*2017年12月,中外视觉艺术湖南展,湖南长沙梅溪新天地梅溪书院.

*2017年12月末至2018年1月末, 《时间之外》主题艺术展, 北京中关村融科资讯中心

*2017年12月, 形质与叙事, 形质与叙事, 东岳美术馆

 *2017年12月,广州新造当代艺术中心,纸上·至上 纸艺作品群展.

Upcoming Exhibitions

* Sculpture project in HongFangzu , Shawan, Sichuan , begining phase Nov 2019

Current Exhibition

*China Ireland exhibition at MUSEU&m, near the Bund , Shanghai, Nov 29th 2019

*1919 – Group Exhibition (Hamilton Gallery) in New York, Irish Consulate

*1919 – Group Exhibition Hamilton Gallery , Sligo , Ireland July – September

Recent  exhibitions:

*Gobi Heaven Art Festival , Inner Mongolia , August 2019

*A piece of Cotton Paper  9th floor gallery Songzhuang June 15th

*”Winning the Day ‘ Granary Art Centre,  SiShui , Shandong, May – June 2019

*Beyond the form of Art , Wick Art Centre , Budapest, Hungary may 2019

*Odyssey The Return ; group exhibition at Dong Yue Art Museum, Beijing  in April

Map and Territory Art IRRCA at Beijing Geely College Nov 20- Dec 20 2018

*Thousands of Sprouts, an experimental online exhibition – by Elizabeth Ross  Nov 2018

* On Paper Supreme, Gwangju Art Museum Beijing Creative Centre Songzhuang Nov- Dec 2018

*China Europe Internaitional Contemporary Art Global Tour Shanghai Oct 2018

*An Irish Airman foresees his Death – Hamilton Gallery Sligo, Ireland June – Nov 2018

*On Paper Supreme, Extension Space, Shenyang, Liaoning,  Sept 16th – Oct 21st  2018

*Artist Nomination Exhibition, Huaiyin art gallery, Huai ‘an shi, Jiangsu, July-Aug 2018

*On Paper Supreme, Ordos Culture and Art Centre , Inner Mongolia , Aug 17th – Sept 10th  2018

*International Abstract Art , ChungChuen College, Jinan, July 2018

* On Paper Supreme, QingDao , Tiantai Art Centre, June 2018

* Existence , International Feminist Art Exhibition,  Mezzi Bookstore Art Space , Changsha

* Excavations 20 April-4th June  He Gallery, Golf Club.

*’Mortgaged Time’ 21st- 29th April at Red Gate Gallery , 798 Beijing  April 21st

*’Excavations’ 12-18th Enjoy Museum 798,  Beijing   preview 5 pm 12th April

* 5 week residency at Guanlan Printmaking base , Shenzhen (Feb-March 2018)

*Lunar New Year theme exhibition “Red Fruit” showing at Raycom IT centre, Zhongguancun,  28th Jan continues to March 3rd, organised by RoveArt , supporting the Female Protection Fund.

*Chinese & Foreign Visual Arts Hunan,  at the Meixi Academy Book Complex, Changsha Dec 26th to Jan 26th 2018.

* ‘Beyond Time’  Raycom IT Centre, Zhongguangcun, Beijing Dec – Jan 27th  2018

*”Qualitative Phase and The Narrative” Beijing Film Academy Triennial Exhibition at Dong Yue Art Museum, Beijing, curated by Li Zhen till Dec 18th 2017…………………………………………….

 

-.On Paper Supreme made its final exhibition for 2018 in Beijing Songzhuang opening Nov 16th
Group exhibition Hamilton Gallery, Sligo Ireland,
Hamilton Gallery Sligo - Lonely Impulse 2

A response to WB Yeats poem 'An Irish Airman Foresees his Death'

Group show Oct 27th Shanghai Bund 27 The House of Roosevelt House , the Bund Shanghai
Recent ‘At your Leisure’ Summer exhibition Jiangsu “悠游“——淮阴艺术馆
exhibited in Jinan curated by Ma Yi Ying
With curator Guo Zhen at the opening of Existence in Changsha , exhibition continues till end of July 2018

和策展人郭桢在开幕式《存在》

简体中文Artist Interview & Profile for the Art Project ‘Existence’
Group exhibition at Red Gate in April 2018 focussing on antiwar poet Ingeborg Bachmann
Niamh Cunningham 'Bachmann Girl' 2017

Artwork for poster is 'Bachmann Girl' 100x100cm Acrylic on Canvas by Niamh Cunningham 2017

Excavations showing at Enjoy Museum 798 April 2018

Excavations , a cross collaborative exhibition showing contemporary art by Chinese and Irish artists , showing in Enjoy Museum, 798 , 2018.4.12

Very honoured to have Irish Ambassador Eoin O’ Leary visit Chinese New Year exhibition “Red & Fruit”

Irish Ambassador Eoin O'Leary with subway paintings at Raycom Centre exhibition Feb 2018

Stay updated with Niamh’s work and her trips around Beijing

Recent Posts
Stay updated with Niamh’s work and her culture vulture trips around Beijing