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, striking colours and symbolism in his pictures, Town has built a vibrant portfolio. Born in Bethnal Green, he grew up in Liverpool and was later educated at Bath Academy of Art and the Royal College of Art. Taking advantage of his ability to communicate ideas visually, he went on to enjoy a successful career as a designer while he continued to paint and develop his artistic style through drawing, painting, photography, and printmaking. While many of Town’s paintings use strong shapes and primary colours, such as the Stairscapes series, others are quieter and more contemplative, representing a more tranquil inner space. His Abstracts series features works where the narrative is more ambiguous but ever-present. He sees landscapes, interior spaces and natural forms as abstract shapes and colours, transcribing these in his unique style onto paper and canvas.