Thursday night found me in my second favourite place in London, The fabulous Reading Room on the second floor of the Wellcome Collection, on the Euston Road. It is truly magical. Imagine a library, an old fashioned museum, an art gallery and your cosy living room… that is the Reading Room. You can go there and curl up on a sofa with a book, or explore the curios in the glass cabinets.
It was one such cabinet that caught my eye last year, and so I put together a little lecture and workshop, called an Event, and the Wellcome Collection people (who are just lovely), invited me back. The Event is advertised on the day, and an announcement is made. People can just turn up, and so I had no idea how many would come along. But this is the Wellcome Collection, and everyone here is curious. And they turned up. They really did. All sorts of people, and we had to find some more chairs.
My Event was called The Magic of Objects and Words, and I invited people to look at the Amulet collection as I talked about charms, luck and magic. We then made our own amulets from bits and pieces, beads, buttons, string, pins and other detritus I’ve gathered over the years. I was so happy that someone used an old mustard spoon.
I am fascinated by sound, and the human voice. I create my soundscapes from the everyday, and as I recited the wonderful poem by Ralph Waldo Emmerson, Amulet, I asked those present to repeat certain words. If they felt like it. If they wanted to. My lectures are gentle.
It was fabulous. Everyone joined in and before long complete strangers were chatting away like best friends.