Follow one Londonista trying to put the brakes on with Slow Club
The Wallace Collection – the scene of last week’s ‘slowness’
The wonderful thing about Slow Club is that it has reconnected me with my senses.
Last week we were asked to listen to something with undivided attention for ten whole minutes: no multi-tasking, surfing the Internet or twiddling with the mobile.
I immediately got excited. I own so many albums that I have never listened to in their entirety. I download songs and put them on random, or build up playlists, or flit impatiently from track to track. So I made a date with Bowerbirds, Karen Dalton and The xx… And it was lovely, on every last track, to take them in as polished pieces. Each album carried its own unique mood.
Slow Club made sure I didn’t forget my eyes too. It asked me to look at art – really look at it – without reading up on context or picking up an audio guide. Just tuning into gut reaction and feeling.
We’re spoilt for art in London. From the rightly famous Tate Britain or Modern, to the smaller art galleries that line Dover Street or Vyner Street. But I popped into the Wallace Collection because I usually look at the ‘modern stuff’ and didn’t want to be weighed down by preconception.
There was one painting in particular that I kept on returning to. It was called ‘Mrs Mary Robinson’ by Joshua Reynolds, and showed a middle-aged woman, in all her pomp and finery. A classic portrait shot, except this woman didn’t look at the painter. She had her head turned firmly to the side, in what I saw as defiance. All around her were shades of dark blue – the sea and the sky. But on the horizon was a patch of peach, as if the sun was finally rising.
I liked to think that Mrs Mary Robinson was turning her back on society: its rulebook, expectations and the frantic pace of it all; that Mrs Mary Robinson was finding her own path. And if she were living in 21st century London, that path would lead straight to something like Slow Club…
Photo courtesy of kitrey’s flickrstream