Stratford Gallery celebrates the art of slowing down

The Stratford Gallery has encouraged visitors to slow down and take the time to truly appreciate the finer details of the art on display on Saturday as part of International Slow Art Day.

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In a fast-paced, hectic world where immediacy and instant gratification seem to be valued above all else, sometimes it’s worth taking five minutes to slow down and appreciate the finer details.

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On Saturday, Gallery Stratford and more than 170 art galleries around the world attempted to help visitors do just that as part of this year’s Slow Art Day, an international movement founded in 2010 to encourage people to take the time and really look at a play. of art.

“People just zoom in on life,” said gallery director Angela Brayham. “We don’t take enough, we use our phones… to take quick pictures. Everything is like snapshots. So (this day is about) the idea that we just need to slow down and appreciate the world around us, especially when it comes to art.

“In the art world, the whole idea of ​​slow art was really to democratize the idea of ​​looking at art. A lot of people feel like they don’t know enough or don’t understand, and that art is for people who have been educated or been abroad. That’s not true. Art is for everyone and so the idea… is whether you stand or sit or whatever and you look at a work of art and you really start to think about color and shapes and what’s going on, and just let yourself watch and absorb it.

Brayham said slow art is less about that instant judgment of whether someone likes or dislikes a work of art and more about taking five to 10 minutes to really look at it, see all the detail that a artist has put into it, consider the emotions or memories that this piece of art evokes, and just live in that free space, away from everything that is going on in the world and in life, for a while.

In a similar vein, wellness, yoga and meditation practitioner Nicky Noble of Soogati Space in Stratford led a free meditation session for gallery visitors on Saturday as part of the Day of the slow art.

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Nicky Noble, a yoga, meditation and wellness practitioner with Soogati Space in Stratford, led a free meditation session at Gallery Stratford on Saturday aimed at helping guests slow down, be mindful and really take time to relax. appreciate the art exhibited as part of Slow Art Jour.  Photo submitted
Nicky Noble, a yoga, meditation and wellness practitioner with Soogati Space in Stratford, led a free meditation session at Gallery Stratford on Saturday aimed at helping guests slow down, be mindful and really take time to relax. appreciate the art exhibited as part of Slow Art Jour. Photo submitted

“The concept of slow art is about being really attentive when looking at an artwork,” Noble said. “A lot of us go through an art gallery very quickly. ‘We like it. We don’t like it’ etc. The concept of slow art is to really, really focus on an artwork and to take it all in. … So the theme of meditation is to really be mindful, to slow down, to take your time, to take things in, and to be grateful for all that you have in your life.

While Slow Art Day only takes place once a year, Brayham said the gallery will continue to encourage patrons to take the time and appreciate the art on display. To that end, the gallery will begin hosting six-week prenatal and restorative yoga classes led by Noble to help participants step into this mind and body space.

At a cost of $75, those interested in attending classes can message Soogati Space on Facebook or Instagram to register.

“Usually when you let yourself stop, your breathing slows down and your whole body relaxes,” Brayham said. “So it’s this idea that art can be restorative and it can also be uplifting. Galleries should be one of those welcoming, contemplative spaces. …Even if someone only has 15 minutes in their day, they can just come and look at a piece of art and just think and slow down.

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