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Department of Psychology


Clive Wilkins is a fine art painter and has exhibited widely, including at the National Portrait Gallery, London. He has also exhibited at the Royal Academy and in private galleries in Cork Street, London – including a one-man show in 2007. His work can be found in public and private collections. Wilkins has produced portraits of Sir Howard Hodgkin and Sir Peter Blake amongst others and has been presented publicly to HRH Princess Royal. He is currently Artist in Residence in the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge.

His writing and paintings have been in print on numerous occasions, most notably in his published work 'The Creatures in the Night', a story written and lavishly illustrated by Wilkins in 2008.

He is the author of 'The Moustachio Quartet', a series of four novels~ 'Caruso Maelstrom', 'Count Zapik', 'Xavier Mannikin' and 'Eissenstrom'. The novels explore imagination and question consciousness and reality, amidst the miasma of ‘being’.

Wilkins is a performer and magician and particularly interested in the nature of cognitive illusion and the psychology of perception.

He has been appointed Visiting Professors at Nanjing Institute of Technology and Beijing University of Language and Culture. He has also been appointed Honorary Professors at Hangzhou Diangi University.

He currently lives in the heart of England. In his spare time, he is a teacher, flautist, origamist and tango dancer.




See also:

The Captured Thought in Florida

What the Captured Thought got up to at the Famelab

Artist in Residence, Clive Wilkins, publishes Count Zapik

Dancing Times features the art-science collaboration of Professor Nicky Clayton and Artist in Residence, Clive Wilkins


Examples of Clive's work

The Ambassadors The Bandaged Lady The Spanish Moon Lady
The above paintings are oil on panel. For more examples of Clive's artwork, visit Behance.


Key publications: 

 Literary works

  • Wilkins, C. (2017). The Moustachio Quartet~ Eissenstrom. Wind on the Wire Press ISBN 9780993002939.
  • Wilkins, C. (2014). The Moustachio Quartet~ Caruso Maelstrom. Wind on the Wire Press. ISBN 9780993002908.
  • Wilkins, C. (2014). The Moustachio Quartet~ Count Zapik. Wind on the Wire Press. ISBN 9780993002915.
  • Wilkins, C. (2014). The Moustachio Quartet~ Xavier Mannikin. Wind on the Wire Press. ISBN 9780993002922.
  • Wilkins, C. (2008). The Creatures in the Night. Dingley Press. ISBN-10: 0954708334, ISBN-13: 9780954708337.




Science-art publications


  • Garcia-Pelegrin, E., Schnell, A. K., Wilkins, C. & Clayton, N. S. (2021) Exploring the perceptual inabilities of Eurasian Jays (Garrulus glandarius) using magic effects. Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences, 118 (24) e2026106118


  • Garcia-Pelegrin, E., , A. K., Wilkins, C. & Clayton, N. S.  (2020). An unexpected audience: Experiments with magic effects might be informative about cognition in animals, Science 369 (6510), 1424-1426 



  • Wilkins, C. A. P. & Clayton, N. S. (2019). Mind Tricks. Magic and mysticism reveal cognitive shortcuts with implications beyond entertainment. Science 364, 6445.


  • Clayton, N. S. & Wilkins, C. A. P. (2019). Book review of Tricks of the Mind. Experiencing the Impossible. Current Biology 29(10), R349-R350 


  • Clayton, N. S. & Wilkins, C. A. P. (2018). Seven Myths of Memory. Behavioural Processes, 152, 3-9.


  • Clayton, N. S. & Wilkins, C. A. P. (2017). The Creative Navigator's Compass: Memory and Perception~ and how we know which way we are facing. The Psychologist 35, 10-14.


  • Clayton, N. S. & Wilkins, C. (2017). Memory, Mental Time Travel and the Moustachio Quartet. Royal Society Interface Focus 30, 22-26.


  • Clayton, N. S. & Wilkins, C. A. P. (2016). Big Picture: Art is the process of memory. The Psychologist 29, 15-16.


  • Laland, K., Wilkins C. A. P. & Clayton, N. S. (2015). The Evolution of Dance. Current Biology 26, R5-9.


Artist in Residence, Department of Psychology
Co-founder of The Captured Thought
Collaborator profiles: 
Not available for consultancy