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The Living Impulse - Opening 5th June

5th Base Gallery, Heneage Street, London E1 5LJ

5-11 June, 2014.

Open Thursday: 17.00-21.00; Friday - Wednesday: 14.00 – 20.00


Discourse lives beyond itself… in a living impulse towards the object

(Mikhail Bakhtin, 1981)

The ‘Living Impulse’ exhibition springs from Lynne Cameron’s particular experiences as an artist who, in her other role as professor at the Open University, researches empathy and metaphor in discourse. Out of this interconnection come paintings that suggest fragmented landscapes of memory, where colour, layering and use of space respond to the places, data and emotions of her research.

This work began with post-conflict Northern Ireland, investigating how empathy became possible between an IRA bomber and the daughter of one of his victims. Over the last five years, her research has taken her to Kenya, Nepal, Brazil and USA, exploring the effect of uncertainties caused by violence and conflict on people’s empathy with each other. Her personal experience of watching her father’s decline through dementia brought a further dimension to understanding how empathy works across the gap of otherness, and produced a series of works on paper that concern how we communicate as life fades away.

A range of events will be held in the gallery space during the exhibition to explore these connections and to celebrate the launch of the e-book Empathy Dynamics in Conflict Transformation: A manual, produced by Lynne Cameron and Simon Weatherbed of the NGO Responding to Conflict. 

 Supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, and The Open University.


Opening Reception

Thursday 5 June, 17.00 – 21.00.  All welcome.


Empathy and Creativity: A multi-faceted relationship

A creative writing workshop to explore facets of empathy through the exhibition, led by Melissa Fu.

Friday 6 June, 11.00 – 14.00.

To book a place or for more information, contact


Sunday salon

Join the artist for tea, cake and talk.

Sunday 7 June. Call in anytime between 14.00 and 20.00.


Creating empathy and transforming conflict

Lynne Cameron in conversation with Simon Weatherbed, Director of NGO Responding to Conflict

Tuesday 10 June 17.00 – 19.00. Followed by a reception.

To book:

Lynne and Simon travelled together to Kenya and Nepal as part of the collaborative research project that produced Empathy Dynamics in Conflict Transformation: A manual, collecting stories of change from peace-builders and people involved in violence. An opportunity to see the manual and hear the stories behind it.


An impulse to empathy

Jo Berry and Patrick Magee in conversation with Michael Appleton

Wednesday 11 June, 15.00 – 17.00. Followed by a reception.

To book:

In 2001, Michael Appleton made a BBC documentary about the first meetings between Jo Berry, whose father was killed in the Brighton bombing in 1984, and Patrick Magee, then a member of the IRA, who planted the bomb. Watching that documentary, and hearing the metaphors used by Jo and Pat, sparked Lynne Cameron’s interest in their dialogue and opened up the rich seam of research featured in the exhibition, eventually leading to the manual. 

Now a psychotherapist, Michael Appleton is reunited for the first time in 13 years with Jo and Pat, with the opportunity to explore how their relationship has evolved.