Ways of Seeing the Leeds Art Gallery

Ref: C3677318

John Berger's landmark 1972 programme Ways of Seeing is as relevant today as it was when it first appeared, nearly 50 years ago. Looking at and reading Ways of Seeing will structure into four parts our interactions with the collection and exhibitions in the Leeds Art Gallery and the images we encounter beyond the walls of the gallery. First, technology and art and the issues of reproducing images from the past. Second, gender, race and art, considering the evolving role women and people of colour in the history of European art. Third, class and art, the entanglements of oil painting and privilege from the early modern to the modern period. And finally, commerce and art, and the connections between advertising and the traditions of painting. This course will involve micro lectures, short screenings, discussion, exploration of the gallery itself and encourage participants to see how understanding art and understanding the world we live in are inextricably entwined.

Course aim

This course encourages you to explore new ways of seeing both the Leeds Art Gallery and the art and images you encounter in your daily life.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • By the end of the course, students will be able to contribute to discussion about course materials and navigate the gallery with confidence.
  • . . . appreciate the roles of technology, gender, class, race and commerce in how we understand art.
  • . . . to see how John Berger's ideas about art are both part of their historical moment (1972) and relevant in 2020.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • A notebook and pencil could be helpful to record your observations/impressions of the art work as you tour the gallery. These notes could provide helpful prompts to ongoing discussion, in this and future courses at the gallery.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Referring to John Berger's book will be helpful. If you have access to a PC, tablet or smart phone, you can access a pdf version of the book. Alternatively, you can pickup a copy of Ways of Seeing (Penguin, 1972) in second-hand bookshops, or online. It is widely available.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Become involved as a volunteer with the Leeds Art Gallery.

Download full course information sheet

Ways of Seeing the Leeds Art Gallery

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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