Memory Theatres

#allthatisknown – theatre of memory

Memory Theatres were visualised as small scale wooden models used as a device to aid memory by associating thoughts with objects, shapes and colours – a technique still widely used today to remember complex thoughts – thought association.  It is easier to remember, for example, the image of a ‘purple cat’ which in turn can help you recall a long story.

Memory Theatres, originally a Greek concept were revived in the 1600s for a similar but different purpose. They were built to store all known knowledge in the vaults of a scholar’s mind. Each room and object in the wooden model would re-surface knowledge as the scholar mentally walked through the rooms. They were also thought to be used by the occult access supernatural powers.

I am building a contemporary version of the theatre.

Emotional memory controller prototype
The memory control panel is used to set the emotional state of the individual [Cat: 09/0000, Emotional memory controller prototype, Scaleable / Digital vector, Illustrator, 2016]


Peter Town is a born storyteller gifted with an ability to translate both everyday quirks and deeper philosophical musing through his work. Often using strong lines, vibrant colours and symbolism in his pictures, Town has combined a long and successful career as a designer and entrepreneur with a vibrant artist portfolio. Many of Town’s paintings use strong shapes and primary colours, such as the Stairs series, whilst others are quieter and more contemplative as they represent a more tranquil inner space. His abstract series of prints and paintings represent works where the narrative is more ambiguous but ever-present. He sees landscapes, interior spaces and natural forms as abstract shapes and colours and transcribes these onto canvas. Having studied at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham in the era when Michael Craig-Martin, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Jim Dine wielded their influence, Town went on to the Royal College of Art. Taking advantage of his brilliance for being able to communicate ideas through illustration, Town went on to have a hugely successful career over four decades as a designer. Throughout, he has continued to paint and to develop his artistic style through drawings, acrylics, photography, and printmaking.