Most people look at a work of art for approximately 30-60 seconds and much of that time is spent reading the label. Slowing down to experience a work of art can be a surprising act of discovery. A more contemplative approach interrupts this deeply ingrained, fast-paced way of looking and allows something very different to emerge. Practicing mindfulness invites a fresh, direct and spacious interaction with
one single work of art and increases our enjoyment.
Choose an artwork and set a timer for 5 minutes. Close your eyes and inhale deeply, as you exhale slowly open your eyes. Focus your gaze on the artwork and notice which elements immediately stand out. As your eyes travel around the artwork, bring your focus back to your breath for a moment. Inhale through your nose and without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently from your mouth. Guide your attention back to the art, what do you notice that you didn’t see before? Pay attention to the thoughts, feelings, or sensations that arise as your gaze lingers on the artwork.