According to the visitor experience team at Tate Modern, Slow Art Day 2019 was “fantastic.”
They organized two one-hour slow looking sessions split between two artworks and, then, after the sessions, the team invited the visitors to come together for tea, coffee, biscuits, and a discussion about the whole experience.
Here’s what some of the participants said:
“A really interesting session. I’m more mindful of how to observe art in the future.”
“What a wonderful idea!
“I understand now how you can spend so much time in a gallery looking at art!”
“The combination of looking at art slowly and with other people is a real eye opener.”
“Really like the concept. As someone who can feel a bit intimidated by the art world this felt like a really nice way in and gives me more confidence to engage with art in the future.”
“A brilliant concept, lovely to think that this is going on all around the world.”
“I will definitely bring friends next time. Do it again!”
“I felt like a part of a group/community and was an hour well spent.”
“We can’t wait for next year to do it again,” said Adriana Oliveira, Visitor Experience Manager there at Tate Modern.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) in West Bretton, UK hosted their third Slow Art Day, “Mindful Moments on Slow Art Day: To Breathe” by Kimsooja, a multi-disciplinary conceptual artist based in New York, Paris, and Seoul.
Participants were invited for a private viewing of Kimsooja’s immersive installation in the historic chapel at YSP, which used light and mirrors to explore the meditative qualities of space. The mirrored floor and diffraction film in the windows responded to changes in natural light, generating a kaleidoscope of changing colors and reflections.
This year’s event was part of a program of mindfulness and art events developed by Art and Wellbeing Practitioner Rachel Howfield Massey and Mindfulness Instructor Sally Edward of Kindmind. Together they invited the group to take off their shoes and stand, sit, and lie on the mirrored floor for forty minutes and notice the changes around them and within their own bodies.
The group silently experienced moments of awe and joy when light flooded the space, and periods of quiet contemplation as the intensity of light changed from moment to moment.
After the event, participants enjoyed hot drinks and pastries in the YSP Restaurant and took part in a gently facilitated discussion. They reported feeling a sense of heightened emotions and expansiveness. Here’s what one participant said:
“I feel like we have been on a journey and travelled far and back safely. How lovely the simplicity of this – simple yet so powerful. I feel very relaxed and empowered with a new tool – how to ‘to be’ with art.”
We look forward to seeing what mindful and immersive experiences the Yorkshire Sculpture Park programs for Slow Art Day in 2020.
We had a wonderful webinar with the leaders of the Belgian Slow Art Day movement, Katrijn D’ hammers and Tinne Langens.
During the webinar, they also showed this very good 4 minute video that they just produced about their mindfulness and Slow Art program.
Background on Slow Art Day in Belgium
Turns out that Belgium has a wonderful central group – FARO (the Flemish Interface Center for Cultural Heritage) – that facilitates the work of museums, archives, and heritage libraries. FARO offers training, study trips, publications and was launched in 2008. Katrijn has worked at FARO since the beginning and has coordinated the support for Slow Art Day across Belgium from FARO since 2014.
She and her colleague, Tinne Langens, who is the head of Education and Policy Programs at Antwerp’s FOTO Museum, have developed (and are continuing to develop) a set of mindfulness programs that integrate with Slow Art Day but go much further in terms of the creation of new kinds of tools, approaches, and methods.
Listen to the Slow Art Day live podcast recorded Tuesday, September 12, 2017 with Slow Art Day hosts around the world and our special guest Christian Adame, longtime Slow Art Day host and Assistant Education Director at the Phoenix Art Museum. Christian designed and piloted the Slow Art & Mindfulness Summer Series at the Phoenix Art Museum this summer.
He talked us about this pilot program and what they learned and answered questions from listeners.