How to get your daily dose of Culture from Home
For everyone feeling FOMO from the Art world
Roaming the walkways of galleries, lights dimming in the theatre, a poet taking their first breath into the mic, these are some of the best feelings in the world. There's a sense of tranquillity in the air and you're overcome with calmness, fully living in the moment. Art galleries for me is where I feel most at home, with silence a beautiful song and the colours of the show a serene melody. When we look at the bigger picture, it may not even be the art, music or performance itself, but the anticipation. The coach journey, full of excitement. The underground, where you're the only person in London smiling. Even the plane journey, awaiting to live out fantasies of gondolas and gelato. Everything counting down to that moment. In the current climate of the world, we may be missing these simple pleasures, however there are so many ways to indulge ourselves in culture like never before. I've curated my favourite ways at the moment to enjoy every aspect of the arts from our very sofa.
For Art Documentaries:
BBC IPlayer has become my best friend over the last few weeks. Being a resident Netflix binger, I found myself missing and learning, experiencing reality. Their Arts Category is full of modern plays, artist interviews, Shakespearean theatre, art history documentaries, short films, exhibition tours, literature discussions and so much more. I recommend watching “Basquiat - Rage to Riches”, “The $50 million Art Swindle” and “Winged Bull in the Elephants Case”.
Button Poetry is the top Youtube Channel to follow for everything Spoken Word. Despite the lockdown, they’ve been consistent in showcasing the new upcoming voices of the poetry scene. Dating back to eight years ago, Button Poetry has hundreds of poet performances on topics of identity, heritage, social issues and mental health. All under 5 minutes in length, it’s incredibly easy so watch numerous in one sitting, providing much needed quick inspiration for writers themselves. Check out poets on the platform such as Alex Dang, Tony Ingram, Olivia Gatewood and Steve Willis.
Similar to Button poetry, Slam Find is an online platform sharing Spoken Word from all across the world. I love how they share memories of individual struggle, with a sense of storytelling that is easy to relate to. I found the channel through poet Nayo Jones beautifully emotive performance of “Healing” a few years ago. A great introduction into seeing what the channel is all about would include watching poems “Hair” by Elizabeth Acevado and Ashley Davis’s “Lessons in Healing”.
Libraries and bookstores are amongst my favourite places to be, but Poetry Foundation makes this so much more accessible at home. It’s an online catalogue of anthologies, essays and poems. Initially, i found it useful for research and inspiration but because it’s updated so often it’s like a daily culture boost. Featuring the works of classic and modern poetry worldwide, it comes in so many different forms of audio, podcasts, articles, video and page poetry.
For an underground artsy aesthetic, Mubi is perfect for any film buff. A bit of everything, Mubi is not an average streaming service, it’s an online curator, exclusively introducing a new film every day. As I’ve recently got into film through my love of Spoken Word, it's working great for me as visual inspiration. Mubi ranges from foreign black and white pictures to ultra modern contemporary film. I also love “Notebook”, their online publication daily reviewing everything in the film world which has sparked my current interest in my own perception of the craft.
Culturally curated, the British Film Institute is a multi diverse programme bursting with new filmmakers and underrated masterpieces. From releasing independent films to it’s cult classics archive the BFI is one of my favourite entertainment platforms. It’s great for film recommendations with their “10 great films about…” list published weekly. A subscription with them also goes towards supporting aspiring filmmakers which i think is fantastic!
With free full length plays every Wednesday, I can watch theatre from my own house, a great alternative during these housebound times. Definitely check out “Barbershop Chronicles” and “A Streetcar named Desire” when streamed as I saw them both last year and thought they were incredible, it will also be really interesting to see how this adapts to the screen.
Every week Shakespeare's Globe premiers a new production of a Shakespearean tale on Youtube. It’s given me the opportunity to see these adaptations of classic literature in a new
light. The beauty of it is also down to BBC IPlayer where they have countless productions such as “A Midsummer Night's Dream”, “Much Ado About Nothing” and “The Merchant of Venice”. IPlayer is home to so many new works of theatre as well, from contemporary dance to anecdotal reimagined poetry.
I’m sure you’ve found yourself wanting to broaden your music taste after listening to the same five albums on repeat, but have you ever opened yourself up to classical music? I was hoping to go to the Opera this Summer to experience something new as i’m already a fan of musicals, ballet and the theatre in general. I’ve found the best Spotify playlist to introduce yourself to classical orchestral music. The general vibe is upbeat and lively, which unknowingly goes hard (especially the violins):
Feel Good Classical
Classical British Countryside
If you’re like me and can’t do anything without listening to music then Podcasts are a great alternative to switching up your routine. When a Podcast is done right, it balances it’s captivating content whilst allowing you to multitask. These Podcasts do this perfectly, they give the term “Art History” a new meaning, reinventing all preconceived ideas of boring lectures to imaginative, funny and conversational discussions of modern art whilst daring to question art of the past.
Great Women Artists podcast: In a fresh new perspective of interviews, art historian and curator Katy Hessel talks to women in all creative fields on the female artist who means the most to them. What really works with this is the more you learn about the inspiration the more you learn about the individual. It’s changing our perception of art history by empowering it’s listeners with energy and spirit.
Art Matters: One of my favourites on this list is the Art Matters Podcast. You don’t need masses of Art knowledge but an interest in storytelling. The show explores where pop culture and art intersect, often discussing art that captures a culture shock in time, such as the #blackgirlmagic movement to hip hop music.
A Piece of Work: Hosted by actress, writer and all rounded boss Abbi Jackson, this 10 episode show explores contemporary art in a way that’s inviting. Questioning our perception on what defines “Art”, she welcomes playfulness and the “what if’s?” of the art world. Talking to cool creative guests at New York's MoMA, the Podcast introduces a carefree conversation of creativity.
Art Curious: Saving the best to last, Art Curious is the friend with all the gossip. Uncovering secrets that have gone unknown and unanswered in the art world, Jennifer Dasal explores questions through themes. From challenging Jack the Ripper's true identity to Banksy's she draws comparisons in Art culture all throughout history. Always learning something new, this Podcast is ingenious in going above and beyond.
I recently discovered Art Basel's archive of artist interviews when researching multi disciplinary creative Mickalene Thomas. If you’re like me, you enjoy going to galleries for fresh new takes on common themes in art. I’ve found Art Basel extremely helpful for new inspiration. Their videos are so visually beautiful yet concise it’s easy to get hooked on. I find art a universal language, so much so that these videos can spark creativity in every sense possible, whether traditionally, lyrically or just perception altering. Check out interviews with Artists Christo, Olafur Eliasson and Ellen Pau.
Google Arts and Culture
Lastly, Google Arts and Culture has to be amongst my favourites on this list. You can virtually tour and visit art galleries from all around the world for free. I’ve been in the Louvre one day and South Korea the next. I’m finding it especially helpful as i get to plan the galleries i want to visit next year and see the artworks I love in real life. You don’t have to just explore art institutions but can travel and culturally experience anywhere in the world. The Website curates arts into categories, from Graffiti and Haute Couture, to Yoga and Outer Space, it’s list is extensive. It has lessons in history as well as finding out what historic portrait figure you resemble. It covers a range of fields such as Murals, Modern Ballet, Architecture, Pop Culture and so much more I could go on forever.
A bonus tip when getting creative at home is to support local freelance creatives. Be that attending their online workshops or a small purchase from their website it all makes a difference. Keep sharing positivity and enlightenment, there’s something here for everyone!