I was pleased to see on BBC Breakfast this morning that art gallery attendance is up. The report suggested that art provides something that our fast-moving, digital society seems to need more of - a space to pause and reflect.
I recently visited the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford with my friend Lisa Cherry. I wanted to try out an activity that I had first taken part in at the V&A several months ago. We were to wander around and engage with and sketch something that 'sang' to us (a word used by my tutor, Mary Ann Kernan at City University London, who led the activity at the V&A). It is a completey silent, 45min exercise which has no rules apart from the ones just mentioned.
We later met upstairs in the rooftop restaurant (lovely place on a sunny day) and shared our experiences. For both of us, it was a chance to pause and reflect. By focusing on something physical and external, we were able to connect with the intangible and internal. The sketch was less important than the process and the ongoing reflection on the experience.
Need time and space to think? Try this exercise and see where it takes you...