Pareidolia Studio

Pareidolia Studio

Unlock the potential of your surroundings with creative mis-perception

This course will explore the idea of pareidolia – a psychological phenomenon that causes people to find a familiar pattern in an image or sound where none exists, such as seeing creatures in the curtains or faces in the clouds – as a common feature of poetry: seeing other things in things, or using one frame of reference/language/image to describe another. Whether it is a face in the clouds, or Jesus in a cheese toastie, we are all natural pattern-seekers, but how is this kind of seeing particularly important for poets? And how does deliberately mis-seeing help to cultivate an active imagination that can be applied to the poetic process? We will delve into the history of the idea (Leonardo da Vinci talked for instance about chance as a starting point for great works of art and how to make the most of blots or stains), share any relevant experiences from childhood (such as finding monsters in the carpet), and make use of prompts to inspire our present-day projections and imaginary leaps. Three kinds of space will be drawn on in our exercises: the domestic space (e.g., interiors of rooms or on the surface the body), the world of nature (e.g., the landscape), and outer space (e.g., the surface of planets and moons, far distant nebulae and constellations).

Studios are 3-4 week intensive courses. Reading material will be distributed before the course begins. There are no live chats so they are suitable for both UK & International students. 

For more information visit our Online Courses page.

(Image credit: Alyx Dellamonica)

About Patrick Wright View Profile

Patrick Wright has a poetry pamphlet, Nullaby, published by Eyewear (2017). A full collection will follow in 2019. His poems have been published in several magazines, most recently The High Window, Wasafiri, and The Reader. His work was also included in The Best New British and Irish Poets 2018, judged by Maggie Smith. He currently teaches Arts and Humanities modules at the Open University, and is working towards a PhD in Creative Writing at the same university, supervised by Jane Yeh and Siobhan Campbell.

‘I feel an achievement in starting and completing this online course, the first one I have attempted and completed [...] I felt appreciated for my contribution in poems and feedback.’

– Summer 2018 survey response

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