09/10/2010 by Sarah Ritchie
I did it! I finally visited the Auckland Art Gallery (New Gallery). So glad I did and I fully recommend the cultural and aesthetic experience to anyone (and it’s free entry…can’t ask for better than that!).
I carry a strong dislike for visiting museums. I love the historial sections, but I’ll deliberately avoid visiting the sections with stuffed animals (a hate I have had from childhood). I noticed – today – that the feeling I experienced walking into, and around, the art gallery is the same feeling I get walking into a museum. There is a brief wave of fear that engulfs me (silly, I know). It is like a pre-supposition that I will see something I don’t want to see (the “stuffed animal syndrome”). A gallery is SO quiet, with a palpable academic-like atmosphere. In the cavernous rooms the first thing that hits me is the view of all the life sized faces (in the portraits) or scenes (some grotesque) or installations (some weird!). It is like experiencing this overwhelming little fear of “what’s around the corner?”. Another irrational fear for me to conquer.
What I DO love about the gallery experience is that I can walk right up to the paintings and see the intricate detail and technique – subtleties you can’t easily see in a photograph. I feel so privileged to have that opportunity and I have resolved to make regular trips to art galleries in the future as a learning tool and for ongoing inspiration. More gallery trips = less fear = better artist. Good solution!