Words by Hayley
It’s easy to think that bettering ourselves, becoming healthier and happier versions of us is limited to how much we exercise and what we eat. With that line of thinking, we often forget about our soul and just how important it is to nourish it. And what is one of the best ways to feed your soul and see it blossom in 2018? To consume art as ravenously as we do matcha energy balls after a killer Ro’ride.
Turns out a trip to the gallery is more than just a visual feast. Recent studies have shown that looking at art or architecture not only stimulates the brain and boosts critical thinking skills but also helps to lower both anxiety and depression. It doesn’t get much better than that!
This month we want to motivate you to get out and indulge in some culture (though armchair viewing works too!). That’s why we spoke to our instructors about their favourite museums, pieces of art or works of architecture. Read on to find out which painting moves Jeff and where in Amsterdam Herns goes to get inspired.
So, instructors, what are your favourites?
Luuk – I would have to choose Picasso’s Seated Woman with Red Hat. I am so fascinated by how a seemingly illogical composition can still make one cohesive image. It motivates me to think outside the box and not always take the easiest route.
Jeff – My favourite piece of art is Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie-Woogie.
Sanne – I don’t really have a favourite piece of art. However, I do have a favourite artist. Widely known as Banksy, his actual name is unknown, and no one knows what he looks like. Despite the fact that his work is all done illegally, he has many fans and followers. I love Banksy because his work is so new and different. He sees what is wrong in the world and responds to it by transforming these issues into art. His controversial yet powerful images and street art get right into my head and soul. His work Follow Your Dreams “Cancelled” really speaks to me, meaning ‘don’t let anything get in the way of what you want in life.’
Rogier – I always enjoy strolling through the photography museum Foam and the Stedelijk Museum, both my favourites in Amsterdam and worth a visit if you’re interested in mixed media/photography and modern art. If you are into architecture take the ferry behind Central Station for a visit to the EYE Filmuseum. You can combine that visit perfectly with a visit to the ADAM Toren, they have a breath taking view over the city.
Babette – One artist I really love is Wassily Kandinsky, particularly his work from the 1920s and up. He made art that is a visualisation of music. Kandinsky said that when he listened to music, he saw colours and believed that the colours he painted showed the pitch, tempo and feel of music. There are really colourful ones that I love and make me happy when I look at them, but I do also enjoy the black and whites.
Rowen – My favourite building in Amsterdam is the Rijksmuseum. It’s so powerful, and it’s so beautifully lit by night – breath taking. The garden is actually my favourite thing about it, and everybody is free to hang out there! So cool! It is right near my house, and it’s always a magical feeling passing through the building by bike. There was a long period of time when we couldn’t pass by bike because of the renovation, and I remember when I passed through by bike when they’d reopened…literally magical nostalgia! I once got a fine from the police in the middle of the night when I was with my best friend singing ‘I Will Always Love You’ out loud while passing through by bike. Best memory ever made down there haha!
Herns – I’d have to say either the De La Mar Theater or the Johan Cruijff ArenA. The De La Mar Theater doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Every time I pass by on my bike I am always astonished – especially at night when it lights up in glowing red. My favourite colour! The Johan Cruijff ArenA, formerly known as the Amsterdam ArenA, is another favourite because I am a football fanatic and Ajax supporter. I think we are very lucky to have a beautiful stadium like this in our city.
Isabella – Probably the work of my father, Maurice Boyer. My fathers’ photographs always find a way to overwhelm me. I find his work timeless and striking, especially in black and white. If you’re interested in more of his work you can visit his website: http://mauriceboyer.com/
Picture credits: Stedelijk Museum, George Orwell (with our branding super star Sofie making the jump)