Is it strange that when I’m feeling flat, all I want to do is go and look at art? I actually think this is something that really works for me as a form of self-care.
I woke up on Friday morning craving colour. I’ve been a bit down lately, but I think the weather also had something to do with it. Winter has arrived and the forecast here is currently grey. Grey, wet and cold.
I wanted none of it. So once I was up and dressed, I caught a train into Melbourne and headed straight to the NGV.
I love the NGV, especially in winter. They hold some great exhibitions which always draw big crowds, but general admission costs nothing. You can just show up, walk in and explore three whole floors of art and antiquities to your hearts content. So that’s what I did. It was late morning when I got there, so there were quite a few people there, but it certainly wasn’t busy.
The last time I visited I got there just on opening and had the whole place to myself for at least half an hour. It was just me and a few security guards, wandering quietly amongst all these priceless works of art. I felt like I had been granted a special privilege.
I know nothing about art. I basically walk around until I see something I like, take a seat in front of it and soak it all up. It’s kind of like on a really cold, cloudy day, suddenly the sun comes out so you instinctively turn your face towards it. That feeling is magic.
Art has that same effect on me.
It was little things like this I used to deprive myself when I was feeling down, but I don’t know why. It was always, withdraw, stay home, do nothing. Now I make sure I get out and do something.
After all, beauty and darkness cannot occupy the same space, so to me, this is as good as any therapy.