“The first thing I ask them to do in the research process is to spend a painfully long time looking at that object. Say a student wanted to explore the work popularly known as Boy with a Squirrel, painted in Boston in 1765 by the young artist John Singleton Copley. Before doing any research in books or online, the student would first be expected to go to the Museum of Fine Arts, where it hangs, and spend three full hours looking at the painting, noting down his or her evolving observations as well as the questions and speculations that arise from those observations.” Jennifer Roberts
Today, find a work of art you love and set aside as long as you can to carry out Jennifer’s assignment above. Dare you set aside 3 hours and take time to sit with your work of art for that long? What will you learn? You will “learn in a visceral way […] that in any work of art there are details and orders and relationships that take time to perceive.” Find stillness in in your day as you spend quality time with your chosen work of art. Extra stillness points if you can physically take yourself to a museum to stare and make notes!
We need to practice deceleration:
“DECELERATION […] is a productive process, a form of skilled apprehension that can orient students in critical ways to the contemporary world.”
Enjoy decelerating with art today. And another day you might take time to read the full article, it is a joy to meet such wise educators. Via @C_Barratt_ from The Contemplative Pedagogy Network for this insightful resource.