Monet in Mind: mindfulness and mental health in Covid-19
Speakers include: Katherine Dunleavy, National Partnership Coordinator, The Courtauld and Stephanie Edwards, Exhibitions Assistant, Ferens Art Gallery
The Monet-in-Mind partnership between The Courtauld, London and The Ferens, Hull aimed to work with young people who would not usually engage with galleries to co-curate an exhibition and online platform relevant to them. The project had started just before Covid-19 restrictions hit the UK, but the shape of the exhibition and choice of works had not been made. In response to the anxiety and isolation brought about by the restrictions, which seemed especially acute in young people, the volunteers selected a calming landscape by Monet as the centrepiece of the exhibition and chose to focus on mindfulness and wellbeing. They aimed to encourage visitors, and those engaging online, to approach art and creativity as tools to improve wellbeing and inspire deep engagement and reflection. Works were selected to encourage slow looking and mindful practice, and this was enhanced by creative pieces, including poems, music compositions, films, curated playlists, blogs and events, developed by local young people to create an immersive experience. We will discuss the lessons we learned and some of the experiences of the young people involved, and offer the chance to experience some of the mindful music, poetry and images from the exhibition.