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How to Develop a Daily Slow Looking Practice

HOW TO DEVELOP A SLOW LOOKING PRACTICE Slow looking is not only an important part of my work, it is also a personal practice - something that I’ve been doing regularly for the last few years. I’m really interested in developing my observational skills and I’m also fascinated by what happens when we spend a longer period of time looking at something. Our general approach to looking is, however, flawed and we try to look at things as briskly and efficiently as possible. We need to slow our looking down and give our brain the time and space

What is Slow Art Day?

Slow Art Day is an international event celebrating looking at art in a different way. This year Slow Art Day is taking place on Saturday 10 April 2021 in nearly 100 venues around the world (and counting...). So, what is Slow Art Day all about? Here's what you need to know. How did Slow Art Day start? In 2008 Phil Terry visited The Jewish Museum in New York and instead of trying to see everything, he found a select few pieces to focus on: just 2 paintings: Hans Hoffman’s Fantasia and Jackson Pollock's Convergence. He wanted to find out what would

What is mindful looking and how can I get started?

There are many ways to look at and think about an artwork. Mindful looking is the process of slowing down and looking at an artwork or object from the perspective of mindfulness.  But what exactly is mindful looking and how can I get started?  What is mindfulness? Let's start by talking about what mindfulness is. As Jon Kabat Zinn states, ‘mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.' It is about a way of being, or a way of responding to the world. Mindfulness allows us to become fully present in

A Brief Guide to Thinking Routines

Interested in thinking routines but not sure where to start? Focusing on thinking routines is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to start working with Visible Thinking. Here is my brief guide: In 2011, I spent a year developing a new programme at the Tropenmuseum using thinking routines from Visible Thinking as a method of engaging and interacting with museum objects. The resulting programme ‘Stories Around the World‘ uses these routines  as the structure around which students can explore objects in the museum in a slow, careful and detailed way. What is a routine? A routine is simply defined as a sequence of actions or

Slow-Looking: In-Depth Experiences with Art and Museum Objects

Much has been written about the power of art works, objects, artefacts to inspire, provoke curiosity and interest. It is generally accepted that looking at objects stimulates critical thinking through comparing and contrasting, identifying and classifying, describing and summarising and so on. Indeed, museums are increasingly using objects and art to help individuals learn what is variously called slow-looking, close-looking or viewing-skills. How Long Does the Average Visitor Spend Looking at an Object or Artwork? Looking is central to the museum experience. When we enter a museum, we are presented with a huge array of objects for us to look