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This Summer, the Wellcome Collection launches On Happiness, a season of free events, activities and two exhibitions – Joy and Tranquillity – which bring together voices from across the cultural, scientific and spiritual fields to reflect on the elusive subject of happiness. In this period of great instability, escalating infectious diseases, ecological concerns and rising levels of anxiety and depression worldwide, Wellcome Collection examines the ways in which people find resilience, hope and even joy at times of duress. In response to seismic political and social upheavals On Happiness asks; how might we rebuild happiness for our current times?
Join Wellcome Collection curators Laurie Britton Newell and George Vasey for this exclusive Virtual Private View of the joint exhibitions Joy and Tranquillity which consider different routes to experiencing these positive feelings. From the uplifting sensations of dancing and laughter to the calm of being in nature and diary writing, the exhibitions consider the effects of emotion on our self and others.
From serenity to ecstasy, awe to comfort, happiness encompasses many different feelings, and has perplexed scholars for centuries. There has long been debate around the role of emotions, where they come from and how they are expressed, and whether they are innate or acquired, universal or culturally specific. Reflecting on the connections between these complex emotions, our bodies and health, On Happiness offers audiences an opportunity to rethink how we feel good.
Newly commissioned works and multi-sensory installations by contemporary artists including Jasleen Kaur, Chrystel Lebas, Harold Offeh, Amalia Pica, Stefanie Posavec and David Shrigley are on display alongside historic objects dating back to the 14th century from Wellcome’s collection. The exhibitions consider ideas from different schools of thought including neuroscience, religion and psychotherapy offering a range of perspectives on the connections between emotions and health.
Image credit: Joy Inside Our Tears, 2021, © Harold Offeh.
Production stills. Performers: Veronica Cordova de la Rosa, Samara Mayanja, Harold Offeh and Ebun Sodipo. Commissioned by Wellcome Collection. (CC-BY-NC)
Our virtual events:
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