Slow Art

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The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery at Leeds University is well worth a look. It’s very easy to find – just go up the steps of the Parkinson Building at Leeds University, the big white building that’s visible from just about anywhere in Leeds, go through the revolving doors and the gallery is just to your left. They have a permanent collection there which is interesting, including a painting of Whitelocks bar which was used by the BBC for a recent programme about poetry in Leeds, (which you have just two days to listen to on iPlayer!!). There is always also a temporary collection – at the moment it’s Jewish Artists in Yorkshire. There’s lots of Jacob Kramer, who gave his name to our local art college, and some paintings by Joash Woodrow, who caused something of a sensation after his death in 2006 when a thousand art works were found at his home in Chapeltown, where he’d lived as a recluse after having a breakdown in the 1950s. My favourite from this exhibition was a large piece by Gillian Singer – 49 panels of photographs and other images of Jewish family life – it takes a whole wall so you don’t really get the effect from my photograph of the postcard!

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This Saturday there’s a special event at the Gallery. I’ll let the gallery publicity explain in its own words: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. This month’s motto is borrowed from Henry David Thoreau and the Slow Art Movement who put it on their banner. What is ‘Slow Art’? The movement believes that when people look at art slowly, they make discoveries. By looking closely, you won’t require an expert to explain things to you. Slow Art unlocks your own creativity and passion for art!
Slow Art Day this Saturday, 27 April 2013, asks everyone to visit an art gallery to look at art slowly. Look at just 5 artworks for 10 minutes each, and see what happens. Get some friends together, and discuss your findings over lunch! Or join us for ‘Linger Longer’ – the only official Slow Art Day activity in Leeds!
Just in time for these contemplative exercises, the Gallery has plenty for you to feast your eyes upon. Our new exhibition ‘Jewish Artists in Yorkshire’ reveals and celebrates treasures by artists of Jewish heritage, in honour of the Leeds Jewish community’s 150th anniversary celebrations. We’ve got lovely artists’ books from Herbert Read’s collection still on display until this weekend. And of course, all kinds of events, exploring topics as diverse as ‘The Paradox of the Modern Jewish Artist’ to making puppets!”

3 thoughts on “Slow Art

  1. Thanks for this Tez, not sure I will make the event at the gallery but it is a lovely little space, looking at art slowly seems such useful advice, previous trips to larger galleries often prove overwhelming, with too many exhibits to fully appreciate the value of each, the link to the radio program about Leeds poets and their connection with Whitelocks was fascinating, it is years since I went there…so atmospheric as I remember. It will be exciting to see how it develops as a renewed venue for poetry and music….looking forward to partaking of a ‘sneck lifter’!


  2. Thanks Su. It’s interesting what you say about art galleries – I sometimes used to find them overwhelming, Less so now because when I start to get tired I stop and do something else. I do like the little gallery in the Uni, partly because it’s convenient to where I live, but also it seems human size. The exhibitions are usually small enough to take in with one or two viewings, and they have had some really interesting stuff. Glad you enjoyed the radio programme about Whitelocks. Go easy on the sneck lifters though.


  3. Thanks for this Terry, I love wandering around Art Galleries – mainly for the ambiance. I only do a bit at a time, a whole gallery I do find overwhelming as Sue says. Maybe I’ll go even slower next time and just look at a few pieces, great thought! Slow art, slow food, a great antidote to the fast paced world! Brilliant.


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