Reimagining Art

Working at an art museum has taught me so much about history, people, cultures, and art. I’m a security and services officer, as is Turner, so we don’t actually get to work in direct correlation to the art beyond telling people not to touch it or get too close and doing a cursory examination for damage when they do. We mostly just tell people they can’t have food or drinks or food, wear their backpacks, or use pens in the galleries. And where they can find the loos. Sometimes we report art contacts, and there are occasional pieces that we are allowed to touch in order to fix misplaced parts, but it’s rare.

My favourite part of the job is eavesdropping on the tours. From hearing our patrons’ stories to learning more about the artists and art, it is always fascinating. What intrigues me most is the way our gallery guides and docents lead patrons to view and experience the artwork.

1. See
What’s in the foreground, midground, and background? What does it look like the artist wants you to focus on? What colours are used? What is the lighting like?

2. Hear
What are the sounds that might be heard in the setting of the painting? What sounds are louder? Which ones are quieter?

3. Feel
If you were in the painting, what could you touch? How does it feel? How do the different textures compare to each other?

4. Sense
What temperature do you think it is? Can you feel movement around you? Is there any wind?

5. Emote
What do you think the people in the painting are feeling? What’s the overall mood? How does the artwork make you feel?

6. Observe
What are some things that seem different to you after imagining yourself in the painting? What can you deduct about the subject or author? Is there a theme or pattern? Why do you think the artist chose to create this piece?

This technique can easily be used for any type of art but seems to work best with more traditional paintings for the majority of the tours and for me. Whatever the case, it taught me yet another way to engage with art, and I adore it.

Have you ever used this method of engagement?
What’s your favourite piece of art currently?
Let me know in the comments!

Published by A Boggus Life

I am an eclectic reader and editor who solves Rubik's cubes, writes, draws and paints, and longs to live in England and France.

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