For my first experience of volunteering for a short amount of time, I reaped a much richer wealth of knowledge than I could've expected. It was brilliant to have some involvement in manning the charity stall, but what really benefited me the most was watching a talk from Semir Zeki, a Professor of Neuroesthetics at the University of Central London. Professor Zeki guided us through the complexities of the human mind, and particularly our relationship with art as a viewer, the effects of pleasure and knowledge, along with the existence of beauty and ugliness seen in all art.
I fortunately got to talk to Prof. Zeki after his chat to the audience, and we then became acquainted with. I expressed my lack of knowledge but willingness to learn about this unknown world, and Semir ensured me we could communicate in the future via email. And even if I was to be in London, he would happily meet me on a Friday evening to browse the National gallery and discuss some work together.
This has been an extremely refreshing and reassuring encounter with a gentleman so knowledgable. Below is an extract from my appreciation email to him:
I' am writing you just to express my appreciation for your evening talk at the Happiness Postcard Exhibition at Love Arts Leeds. It was a real priviledge to talk (even for a short while) in person and become acquainted with you. Although my knowledge of science is incredibly unexplored, your talk opened my eyes to the workings of the brain, our relationship of pleasure and knowledge with art, and the differentiations and coexistences of beauty and ugliness within art. It was delightful to scratch below a surface of my own knowledge, so for that I' am highly appreciative.
I hope from now on, we can sustain a long distance contact in which you can hopefully guide me towards a broader introduction to your work as a professor of neuroesthetics, and provide me with a "beginner's guide" to your work, be it examples of papers deemed understandable by an individual not so aware with the subject, or one of your own books."
I intend to make the most of everything Prof. Zeki can hopefully teach me, which can hopefully benefit some of my contextual theoretical understanding and general understanding of percieving art from seperate angles.