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November 2021

Art and Dementia with Catherine Chastney

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ART AND DEMENTIA WITH CATHERINE CHASTNEY INTRODUCTION  For our thirtieth episode, I’m delighted to be talking to Catherine Chastney. Catherine is an art educator and owner of social enterprise I Picture This. Catherine’s work focuses on bringing art and the joy of discussing art to older people, from creating conversations in care homes, to creating art cards during lockdown and working with people living with dementia. In this chat we explore the strong values that guide Catherine's work - she is passionate about that anyone can look at and discuss art, she loves using art to bring people

How to develop a reflective practice

 HOW TO DEVELOP A REFLECTIVE PRACTICE INTRODUCTION Today I’m talking about how to develop a reflective practice in your work. A reflective practice is simply the art of thinking about or reflecting on what you do. It is a way of recognising, capturing and articulating what we’re learning on a moment by moment basis. First I'll share more about what reflective practice is and the benefits of introducing reflection as a practice into your work. Then I'm going to share 7 different ways you can use to develop your reflective practice and 3 tips to get you

How to Engage your Audience with Colour in Art Discussions

 HOW TO ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE WITH COLOUR IN ART DISCUSSIONS INTRODUCTION Today I’m focusing on colour. Colour is one of the 7 elements of art along with shape, line, form, texture, value and space. It's a vast subject - but today I don't want to focus on colour theory or the science of colour. Instead, I want to get you thinking about how you approach colour with your audience during an art discussion. I’m going to look at different ways you can create discussion about colour with your groups to get them engaged in artworks. Colour is

Slow Looking and Empathy with Kenia Santos

SLOW LOOKING AND EMPATHY WITH KENIA SANTOS INTRODUCTION  Today I’m delighted to be talking to Kenia Santos - an educator based in Brazil with specialisations and interests in art history, philosophical inquiry, social and emotional learning, thinking routines and slow looking. We discuss how she uses thinking routines in her work to encourage and develop slow looking, how she keeps her teenage students engaged for 3 hours (!) in her art classes and how we can develop empathy through slow looking. Kenia is a passionate educator, slow looking enthusiast and a self-described art history nerd; a cat lover,

October 2021

10 Easy Ways to Make your Guided Tours More Interactive

10 EASY WAYS TO MAKE YOUR GUIDED TOURS MORE INTERACTIVE INTRODUCTION The traditional lecture-style guided tour is dead, long live the interactive tour! Well, it’s not actually, it’s still alive and kicking in some quarters but in my opinion it shouldn’t be.  Traditional lecture-style ‘walk and talk ‘ guided tours with an expert guide are still fairly common and in some places are still a standard way of ‘presenting’ an historic site, a city or a museum to the public. Things have definitely changed in the last 10 years since I started this journey of teaching others

3 THINKING ROUTINES FOR SLOW LOOKING AND DRAWING

3 THINKING ROUTINES FOR SLOW LOOKING AND DRAWING INTRODUCTION This week’s episode is inspired by recent classes in the Visible Thinking Membership where we've been exploring the concept of using drawing and sketching for slow looking and observation. We’re also been talking a lot about how people feel about drawing, sketching, doodling and scribbling as well. Now when you introduce any activity into a guided tour, museum programme or class that involves drawing you almost certainly get a few people in the audience who have objections - normally along the lines of ‘I can’t draw’. It quite often

Using art and objects to learn wellbeing skills and improve mental health with Louise Thompson

USING ART & OBJECTS TO LEARN WELLBEING SKILLS & IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH WITH LOUISE THOMPSON INTRODUCTION  Today I’m really excited to be chatting to Louise Thompson - a museums and wellbeing consultant as well as the health and wellbeing manager at Manchester Art Gallery for the past 9 years. We’re talking how about art and objects can be used to learn wellbeing skills and improve mental health. Louise has over 12 years experience of arts and health practice and is hugely passionate about using culture and creativity to improve people’s wellbeing. We discuss: Louise’s work and some of

How to get over a ‘tumbleweed moment’ (and avoid one in the future)

HOW TO GET OVER A 'TUMBLEWEED MOMENT' (AND AVOID ONE IN THE FUTURE) WHAT IS A 'TUMBLEWEED MOMENT'?  Have you ever asked a question that was greeted with nothing but silence? You look around and all you can see are blank faces. The silence is scary because you don’t know what people are thinking. It could mean anything. You wait a little longer and still nothing happens. Just the sound of tumbleweed rustling by…. You've just experienced a 'tumbleweed moment' - a period of dead air or silence.  And it’s awkward and uncomfortable - not just for you

September 2021

13 Tips for Getting Started with Thinking Routines

13 TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED WITH THINKING ROUTINES INTRODUCTION  In the past week I’ve just started teaching my Visible Thinking in the Museum Online course (VTMO) to a group of international educators excited to start confidently leading discussions around art and objects. There’s always a buzz when we get going and an enthusiasm to learn as much as you can as quickly as possible. But I always try to slow down participants, so that they can take it one step at a time and build up their practice (and confidence) slowly. So this week’s episode is for all

How to use your voice to engage your audience

HOW TO USE YOUR VOICE AS A TOOL TO ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE INTRODUCTION  Today I’m really excited to be introducing our first guest chat on the podcast. Today I’m talking to voice actor Samantha Boffin - we are exploring tools and techniques that will help you develop a more reliable and consistent voice. Samantha Boffin is a voice actor working with clients on voice technique, voiceover and communication. I invited Samantha to lead a masterclass on voice in the Visible Thinking membership and it was so well received that I invited her back on to the podcast to