Slow Looking & Visible Thinking, with Claire Bown

“As adults, we don’t spend too long in observation. We tend to want to jump straight in to interpreting and what we think. It’s actually quite useful for us to take a step back, and just dwell in observation for a little bit, because those details that we notice will help fuel our curiosity.” ~ Claire Bown

Busy, busy, busy! Even when we’re at leisure, on vacation, in a museum, we just go, go, go, barely taking a moment to focus on what’s around us, let alone to explore, absorb, or reflect upon it all.

But what if we allowed ourselves some time? What if we slowed down our observations, even just a little? Better yet: what if we actively invited exploration and conversation about what we’re seeing?

Claire Bown teaches techniques to help people connect more with art. Her guide How to Look at Art (Slowly) is as rich a compendium of curiosity practices as I’ve ever found. Claire’s professional focus is museums, but she’d be the first to tell you: the skills she shares are useful anywhere…

“By engaging in ‘visible thinking’ you are encouraging discussion with others, so others can hear your thinking. You’re asking lots of questions — which we know is a great curiosity practice — but you’re also listening very intently to what other people have to say.”

Listen to Choose to be Curious #191: Slow Looking & Visible Thinking, with Claire Bown

Learn more about Claire Bown, founder and principal at Thinking Museum. Check out The Art Engager Podcast.

Find her wonderful guide here: How to Look at Art (Slowly).

You’ve heard me talk about the Right Question Institute’s Question Formulation Technique (QFT) before: Ep. #80 The Right Question Institute with Andrew Minigan, and Ep . #181: The Right Questions for Legal Empowerment, with Naomi Campbell.

I’m definitely going to check out the Smithsonian Institution’s EdX course: Teaching Critical Thinking through Art with the National Gallery of Art.

Theme music by Sean Balick“Purple Light” by Marble Run,, via Blue Dot Sessions.

You can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on iTunes and Spotify.

Check out the Choose to be Curious shop!

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