The Art Of Viewing Art

The Art Of Viewing Art - TAOVA Project

The Art Of Viewing Art or TAOVA, is a project I’ve been working on for some time now. I am passionate about art, creativity and culture and I spend a lot of my free time in galleries, museums and other cultural establishments. I’m a member of the Tate Galleries so I’m lucky to have unlimited access to exhibitions when they arrive. It’s through this love of art and gallery spaces that I began to be drawn to the experiences of others while viewing art works and absorbing the culture on offer.

TAOVA developed from my enjoyment of viewing the original work and viewing those viewing the work! I began to take the odd shot here and there of members of the public positioned in front of pieces, mostly always from the back and discretely.  The image to the right is one of those first shots back in 2013, titled ‘Who’s Viewing Who?’ I try to have as little interaction with the viewer as possible so I don’t direct the positioning. Although if out with friends or family I may employ their services in guiding the composition.

From those humble beginnings its become a bit of an obsession. When I visit an exhibition I will, where photography is allowed, always capture the art work and the viewer. As a project its forever growing and a lot of amusement can be had, the excitement of getting a perfectly placed viewer and art work, the varied subjects that I capture and the playful concept that the original work and the viewer become something new, something different.

The ultimate goal would be to include the pieces in an exhibition and photograph viewers viewing the viewer. It brings to mind the start of an art infinity mirror and endless repetition of viewer and art work, changing with each exhibition.

It is an organic project with existential issues at its heart, what if there was nobody to view the work, does the viewer make the work, rubbing off some of the appreciation for the piece like a well formed patina on brass? I hope to progress with it, but for now I’m just happy to let TAOVA grow and develop.