An often-quoted study from Westminster University shows that visiting an art gallery reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Researchers found that while cortisol levels were high when participants stepped into the gallery, they soon dropped to below normal for the time of day during the visit.
The psychologists concluded that even a brief visit to an art gallery - at lunchtime, for example - can be of benefit. And, most interestingly, it was the men in the study who gained the most, reducing their cortisol levels to a greater extent than the female participants.
So, if you’re in need of free art therapy, why not step inside one of the region’s galleries.
Huddersfield Art Gallery has a permanent exhibition Perspectives, which showcases items from the permanent collections, including everything from a work by LS Lowry to a monumental John Martin painting. This month it is also showcasing the work of several photographers in a new exhibition, Discursive Documents, and has extended the David Tindle retrospective, which explores the figurative painting of the Huddersfield-born artist. For lovers of David Brook’s local landscapes, the gallery is showing a small collection of works from the Kirklees Collection.
Dean Clough in Halifax, one of the region’s largest galleries, has just unveiled several new exhibitions of work, ranging from abstract and figurative paintings to photography and sculpture.
This complex of galleries, offices and leisure premises is currently showing works by international contemporary artist Andrew Crane; photographs with the theme of self-sufficiency by Walter Lewis; watercolours and monotypes by Mark Murphy; found-objects sculptures by Ian C Taylor; experimental paintings from John Baldwin; and an installation by Martin Waters using worn, industrial gloves disgorged from the mouth of the Humber.