Posted on Thursday, 11 July 2013 at 2pm
by Madeleine Newman (currently on maternity leave). See more of my posts here.
We are now in the last week of the Encountering Art: An Introduction course, part of the Lifelong Learning Centre’s Spring into Summer programme designed to provide an introductory course for participants interested in finding out more about how to look at art.
Over the last six weeks we have been able to visit the excellent cultural institutions within Leeds to view art within the gallery space. This was made possible by the generous opportunities provided by the Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery who kindly agreed to support the Spring into Summer programme by hosting a session.
During week two we visited the Henry Moore Institute as part of our investigation of sculpture, with a particular focus on their current exhibition Robert Filliou: An Institute of Endless Possibilities. We were able to spend time in the gallery reflecting on the nature of the works on display and their relationship to our understanding of the materials, processes and conceptual approaches used to make sculpture in the twentieth century. The Henry Moore Institute’s Educational Tours Co-ordinator, Matthew Merrick, presented a tour of the show and gave a really informative insight into the artist’s work, which helped us develop our ideas further. Our visit has allowed us to consider the ways that sculptural works communicate meaning to the viewer and how this becomes framed by the gallery space.
Our visit to Leeds Art Gallery formed part of our exploration of painting. Nigel Walsh, Curator of Contemporary Art, hosted a ‘walk and talk’ in the current collection display: The Disappearing Self: ‘Paintings from the 1980s’. Here we were able to hear more about the artworks held in the Leeds Art Gallery Collection and the particular social and political meanings communicated through the selection of paintings on display. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to meet a curator and to find out more about the process of curating an exhibition. The ‘walk and talk’ provided a really fascinating introduction to the curatorial vision behind the selection of works on display and their individual meanings. As we were seated in the gallery space, we were able to reflect on the artworks in depth and the group shared their observations to build a reading of each work.
The artworks we have explored throughout the course, in sessions and as part of our visits, have provided lots of enthusiastic debate. I would like to thank the staff at both institutions for taking the time to host our visits and for giving us the opportunity to offer a real life encounter with art in Leeds to our learners.