How to...experience a world of art without leaving the UK

The theme this month is art takes a trip, but it's often the case people take a trip to see the art.

How to...experience a world of art without leaving the UK

People travel all over the world to see various artworks and appreciate the culture that flourishes internationally. But, you can still appreciate international art without leaving your home country. Art can take a trip to you, rather than you taking a trip to it. Here are my top tips for experiencing international art in the UK:

Visit local galleries

Many local galleries will feature international artists. Sure they might not be the super-huge names (although many do) but they are definitely worth checking out and will feature artworks made by people from around the world. You can usually find the listings of your local gallery on their website, and will be able to see who's coming up. Why not choose an show that features an artist whose culture you've never experienced before?

Visit national galleries

Many national galleries (particularly in London) have partnerships with international museums and associations. They also own, store and loan many different world pieces of art, which you can experience without leaving the country. It's interesting to see how these pieces play off against each other, and how different art movements change as you go around the world.

Go to independent and nationwide cinemas

There's been a surge of documentary-films made recently as part of 'Exhibition on Screen' which take you on tours around international art museums and galleries from around the world. There was recently the Van Gogh Guide, filmed at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and there's also the Girl with a Pearl Earring coming up, filmed from the Mauritshuis Museum Netherlands. You can visit a gallery from a different part of the world and see international artists' famous pieces, whilst you are merely sitting in your local cinema.

Use online resources

Search for international artists' own websites and profiles to find out more about them. Search google for international art movements and keep on top of upcoming and establishing artists through reading online blogs and media. News articles and culture articles can be particularly useful for keeping on top of the latest worldwide and international exhibitions. Online tends to be better than papers for this, as newspapers will often cover the art in the UK, or the really big cities. You can normally find something much more unusual, and untapped online.

Read books and magazines

There are many art magazines which are entirely based around what is currently going on in the art world, and some galleries and museums also have their own magazines which you can access. Similarly, it only takes a visit to your local library or a bulk buy on amazon to read up on interesting worldwide artists.

Use social media, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter.

Social media connects the entire world and you are guaranteed to see lots of world art from various countries if you follow the right accounts on Tumblr Instagram and Twitter. Follow art news sites, individual artists or collectives that you are interested in, to see their latest work and keep up to date with the international art scene.

Explore online museum archives

You don't even have to set foot in a museum to find out what collections and international artworks they own. Many have some form of searchable collection online where you can find out about artworks you are interested in, particularly the bigger museums based in London, Tate has an especially through online collection.

Take part in a MOOC or free online learning

These are free educational online courses led by universities and education establishments. There are specific courses which focus on particular arts and art styles, so find one based on the right subject for you and you can soon be learning about international art for free!


Mary Strickson

Mary Strickson Contributor

I love writing, blogging and reviewing on Voice and other online publications, covering a range of topics but I especially love the arts, activism, film and theatre. When I am not writing I work as an events photographer and artist/illustrator, as well as running workshops in schools and the community, mostly with young people. I'm also a huge history nerd, have a History BA, Art History MA and work in heritage. I love comics, superheroes and anything sci-fi.

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