A Genius Tour follows in the footsteps of the creative luminaries who've had major inspiration while walking London's streets: from literary greats like WB Yeats, Virginia Woolf and Chiang Yee to the engineer Joseph Bazalgette, the painter JMW Turner and an anonymous bus ticket collector. We investigate why their revelation struck when it did and upturn the usual assumptions about the Eureka! moment. We test the latest theories about the creative process by trying a playful experiment, sleuthing for ideas in the cityscape around us. We end with a short trail of failure, and a battle between two great painters, to see what we might learn from them about navigating the darker side of the creative process. Along the way we make discoveries in one of the city’s best-known landscapes that surprise even seasoned Londoners.
A Genius Tour is devised and led by guest Dotmaker Cathy Haynes. Cathy is a London-based artist and curator, and an associate of Dotmaker Tours. She originally created this walk for The School of Life (under the title 'A Eureka Tour'). To find out more about Cathy, see www.cathyhaynes.org
Hear Cathy introduce A Genius Tour in this 2 minute podcast.
What to expect: This walking tour takes us to the London streets where great visionaries have had moments of genius to find out why and how inspiration really works. We hear stories of creative struggle, triumph and failure. We look with fresh eyes the creative triggers to be found in the city’s backstreets and national monuments. And we gain perspectives and strategies to boost our own creative confidence. Tour goers will:
- be shown a different side to the area around Charing Cross, Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery.
- discuss ideas and collaborate with new people to make a playful but enlightening experiment.
- gain fuel for the imagination, a boost to creative confidence and strategies to negotiate the creative process better.
Meet: By the Embankment cafe, Embankment Gardens, close to Embankment and Charing Cross stations. Please note: We will meet by the café INSIDE the Gardens, not by the road. The tour ends in Trafalgar Square, close to Charing Cross and Leicester Square stations.
Suitable for: Adults and children aged 16 and over. The walk is about two miles through central London over uneven terrain and approximately 25 steps without a lift.
Duration: 2 hours.