Mindfulness & Art
Over the last few years I have worked on many varied and interesting mindfulness and art projects. The current trend for incorporating mindfulness practices into public spaces is something that I feel very passionate about. Here is a brief overview of some of the projects I am currently involved in or have completed in the last couple of years.
YORKSHIRE SCULPTURE PARK
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an open-air gallery in West Bretton near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England, showing work by British and international artists, including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
Their Art & Wellbeing co-Ordinator Rachel Massey invited me to work alongside her and the park to design, test and deliver a number of new and exciting ways to bring mindfulness practices to art appreciation, walking in the park and enhancing wellbeing.
Offerings include “Still Looking” a new way to be with art using mindfulness practice. These 2 hour sessions invite groups of participants to enage in mindfulness practice and a particular type of longer looking at the sculptures.
“Mindful Moments” private slow-viewing events with each major exhibition.
“Slow Art Day” an international event to promote longer linger time in galleries.
“Mindful Walk” events which involve guided mindful meditation to experience the art and landscape of the park in a different way.
Feedback from participants at these events has been overwhelmingly positive and has sparked an international interest in this work.
kirklees museums and galleries
Alongside Rebecca Bracey, I was invited to design, test and deliver “Mindful Art” sessions working with the collection at Huddersfield Art Gallery. Half hour lunchtime provide busy town centre workers with an oasis of peace and calm and a chance to just be with art in a beautiful space.
As part of the same project, recordings of guided meditations using specific art pieces are available for anyone visiting the gallery.
Oakwell Hall was the setting for another contemplative event which incorporated the grounds of the Hall as well as it’s incredible interior and permanent collection.
the treasure house, Beverley, east riding of Yorkshire
I recently completed developing and delivering a pilot scheme offering weekly sessions to a varied group of gallery visitors using mindfulness to view selected works from the permanent collection at the Treasure House art gallery and museum in Beverley. This work was immensly rewarding and received lovely feedback from participants.
THE MERCER ART GALLERY, Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
A series of mindful looking events were offered as part of the latest exhibition of William Powell Frith. These were warmly received and have inspired discussions about how to sustain these types of offerings long term and the benefits of mindful viewing in groups.
The Victorians viewed paintings very differently to contemporary audiences so to honour this exhibition and to promote slow viewing as part of the mindfulness project, an armchair currently resides in the gallery. It will move slowly around the gallery throughout the course of the exhibition. Visitors are invited to sit in front of one painting and with a prompt card and a 10 minute timer engage in a personal mindful viewing. They are then invited to write an account of their experience in a journal. The entries so far are inspiring and full of gratitude for the invitation and permission to be in this beautiful space in a different way.