‘Only art and music have the power to bring peace’ – Yoko Ono.
There are lots of reasons why we are big fans of art here at House of Coco…because art provides a window into new perspectives and cultures, because it allows us to exercise our own creativity and because, *deep spiritual breath*, it helps us to relax.
Whether we just take five minutes to do some mindful colouring, squirrel ourselves away to a corner of our local art gallery to take it all in at our own pace or go the whole hog and take an artists’ retreat, we should never underestimate the therapeutic effects of both appreciating and creating art.
Although you can be almost anywhere to reap the relaxing benefits of art, there are certain places around the UK where its peace-making qualities seem to be enhanced by the very location of the place. And, as #TeamCoco love to travel, here’s a list of our favourite relaxing arty places around the UK (we’re just focussing on art rather than music for the moment Yoko…)
Tate St Ives in Cornwall
Built on the site of an old gasworks, the Tate St Ives in Cornwall backs directly into the cliff face and looks out over Portmoer Beach, providing wonderful light for its collection of paintings, ceramics and sculptures. A gallery firmly rooted in its Cornish setting, each modern British artist exhibited has some link to the pretty St Ives area. The gallery is undergoing a major refurbishment and a long-awaited reopening is set for October 2017.
Stepney City Farm and Rural Arts Centre in London
Credit: Stepney City Farm
Gritty East London is perhaps a surprising place to relax with art but Stepney City Farm is a little haven in the heart of the urban sprawl with pigs, ducks and…a pottery studio. Clay enthusiast, Jess Joslin, offers pottery classes on evenings and weekends so that you can pet the animals then release some stress by throwing a pot or two.
Grizedale Arts at Lawson Park in the Lake District
Credit: Grizedale Arts
A strange arty place in the middle of nowhere, Grizedale Arts is part working farm, part project space and part artists residence. It is plonked in the wilderness of the Lake District at Lawson Park Farm with stunning views over the valley, and is quite simply one of the most calming places around.
Salts Mill in Shipley, Yorkshire
A former textile mill in a gloriously industrial Grade II-listed building, replete with big once-smoking chimneys and rows of long, uniform windows, Salts Mill is Yorkshire’s answer to London’s proliferation of galleries. With lots of fantastic art by David Hockney, shops chock-full of creative knicknacks and a plethora of cafes, it can be easy to spend a whole day exploring. However, House of Coco recommends following some appreciation for Hockney’s nature drawings with your own exploration of the natural beauty of the North…the Yorkshire moors surrounding the Mill are truly stunning and the great place to create your own relaxing art.