the snail

Edge Hill’s Festival of Ideas will feature a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society, including a public event at the Tate Liverpool.  The Art of the Demographic Dividend is presented by the Postgraduate Medical Institute, with guest speaker Professor Desmond O’Neill.

The audience will have private access to the Matisse in Focus exhibition, including a rare opportunity to see The Snail outside of London.

Matisse created The Snail when he was confined to his bed at 83 years old. The abstract piece, based on the swirl of a snail shell, is almost three metres square and was created by arranging colourfully painted paper on a white paper base.

Professor O’Neill will promote the underlying message that age should never hold you back, by highlighting Henri Matisse completed most of his work during ill health in his final years.

Professor O’Neill’s own work, which he will also discuss, focuses on stroke, in particular recovery following stroke, as well as prediction of fitness to drive following stroke or dementia.

“When students troop into my introductory lecture on geriatric medicine, they are generally surprised that the first slide is Henri Matisse’s The Snail (1953): radical, vibrant and witty, it does not quite conform to their preconceptions of medicine with older people”, said Professor O’Neill. “The second slide, of the 83 year old Matisse in a wheelchair, provides the context: his later life not only provides surprising developments in his art, but it occurs in the face of significant disability. Indeed, Matisse’s response to illness illustrates not just his resourcefulness, but also the role of adversity in sparking personal growth.”

This event is part of a wider programme of events taking place at Edge Hill over the coming months as part of the Festival of Ideas 2016, a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society. The main theme is Imagining Better – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality. Details of all events can be found here.

The Art of the Demographic Dividend will take place on Thursday 4th February a drinks reception will be available from 5:30pm at the Tate Liverpool. Click here for further information and to book your place.