Monday 09 December 2019

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Galleries could help with student life

Thursday, 12th September, 2019 8:41am

Could a visit to your art gallery help with stress levels? According to recent studies, art-loving young people are using museums and galleries to combat the stress of modern life.

The study for a national charity found that art fans of all ages feel that looking at paintings and sculptures is a good way to unwind.

New figures analysed by the Art Fund show that those under 30 are twice as likely to visit a museum or gallery at least once a month specifically to de-stress. With Ireland’s first study into third-level students’ mental health indicating that a significant number are suffering from anxiety, depression and stress, the need to de-stress has never been greater.

Marketing and Communications Manager at Crawford Art Gallery, Dyane Hanrahan says she meets many students and under 30s in the gallery who specifically come to absorb the art and unwind there.

She said: “Many people from their teens to under thirties are visiting the gallery more frequently to take their time and escape the stresses of daily life. Our lives are very busy now, particularly with added stresses of exams and social media, people feel a need to find a space that takes them out of their environment if only for an hour. We are fortunate in Cork, (that the) Crawford Art Gallery is free, located right in the heart of the city and open seven days a week. The historical building is often seen as a haven of tranquillity and to pass over the threshold is to enter a different world.

“In Crawford Art Gallery, we encourage the art of ‘slow looking’ which is an approach based on the idea that, if we really want to explore and appreciate a work of art, we need to spend time with it.

“According to experts, slow looking not about being told by others how you should look at art. It’s about you and the artwork, allowing yourself time to make your own discoveries and form a more personal connection with it. This can have many additional health and wellbeing benefits including a deepening of the breadth and a slowing of the heart rate leaving us all feeling a little calmer!”

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