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Creative summer: visiting an art gallery
AUGUST 19, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Isabel Berwick.

Viewing John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing, an exhibition of artworks and objects from Museums Sheffield and the Guild of St George — a charity founded by the English polymath, which he endowed with a tiny museum intended for what the exhibition guide calls “the iron workers of Sheffield”. ....Ruskin, who wrote about 9m words in his lifetime and was variously an art critic, artist, social commentator, polemicist, philanthropist and thoroughly eminent Victorian (he died in 1900), has left one of the most creative legacies that most of us will ever encounter. What can he teach us about creativity at work?....the guide talks about the artist’s ideas about the ways in which we see the world around us — and how we can learn to see more clearly, and in more detail. ...Ruskin believed that in order to properly observe, one had to draw what one is seeing — not something we could do in the gallery, but it suggests a different way of engaging with the world around us for some of the people on the team. “Ruskin was a great joiner of the dots, and showing that everything is connected,”........the surprising ways in which we can make connections — suddenly seems to be one of the most important ways in which we can be more creative in a workplace focused on being “agile” and “collaborative”. We tend to think in well-defined ways, with longstanding colleagues whose reactions we can often guess in advance.....the importance of just . . . noticing. Of finding beauty and interest in a wide range of things, just for the sake of it, and allowing thoughts to drift about.....The simple act of looking at beautiful things, the sort of activity Ruskin would have considered a good in itself, is a way of taking time out to be reflective.
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Rob |Aug 20, 2019.

I’m on board with the thrust of the article. I’m fortunate (although it doesn’t often feel that way) to work for an artist. This has given me access to yet more artists and regular recommendations for exhibitions.

Two recent examples are ‘Beyond the Streets’, an exploration of graffiti and it’s genesis in Brooklyn, and ‘Visions of the Self’ at Gagosian in London — both were mind-bending-ly good; both were outside my usual interests and I wouldn’t have attended unless pushed.

I really don’t know anything about graffiti or Rembrandt. However, visiting an exhibition with a knowledgeable friend, provided they aren’t particularly overbearing, is a delightful experience that, to my own surprise, leaves me feeling both rejuvenated and creatively invigorated. (Anecdotally. I haven’t done an RCT to assess the impact on my work...)

The upshot: provided they’re well assembled, almost any exhibition can provide relaxation and stimulation in equal measure.
art  art_galleries  attention  connecting_the_dots  creative_renewal  creativity  focus  mindfulness  museums  noticing  observations  pay_attention  reflections  serendipity  think_differently 
august 2019 by jerryking
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