Thackray Museum Providing Tranquility in Leeds

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Feat On the Trail of Tranquillity Thackray Museum Credit_Malcolm Johnson

Taking time to relax and enjoy nature is considered crucial for health and wellbeing. And Thackray Museum of Medicine is pleased to launch its new programme, promoting wellness and rejuvenation. Tranquillity will launch later this month with revitalising art, events and activities.

As a real coup for Leeds, and as the season’s headline installation, the museum has partnered with The Wellcome Collection to bring Regarding Forests to The Thackray. Regarding Forests evokes an atmosphere of tranquillity and provides visitors with a space to rest and relax. Visitors will learn about photographer Chrystel Lebas’ travels. Trips to the Hoh Rain Forest in Washington State, and the Japanese island of Yakushima, known for its cedars. Translating the sublime power of these ancient forests, Lebas’ installation seeks to provide a restorative encounter that reminds us of our reliance on the natural world.

“A little bit different”

Lebas’ photographs are set to be accompanied by a soundscape composed with the noises of birds and wind recorded on location. The installation is complemented with a scent of petrichor. And that evokes the smell of the forest floor after it has rained.

On the Trail of Tranquillity is another event taking place. The trail is a series of themed walks in Beckett Street Cemetery, hosted by Balbir Singh Dance Company. Inspired by Regarding Forests, the local dance company will flavour their walks with interpretive art, dance and poetry performances. For people looking for something a little bit different to do at lunchtime then this is definitely something for them. Walkers will be able to see the cemetery in a whole new light, highlighted as a place for peace and wellbeing.

Thackray Museum Providing Tranquility in Leeds

May’s half term provides opportunity for kids to get involved. Lined up is a series of family activities including Pop-Up Potions and the Wish Forest.

Dr. Ruth Quinn is Programme Curator for Thackray Museum of Medicine. She said: “Finding space for tranquillity in our lives is so important for our well-being. There’s no better place to find it than in our woods and green spaces. At Thackray, we know it’s not easy to find nature in our urban environment. So, in collaboration with Wellcome, we’ve tried to bring a bit of the forest into the heart of Leeds through our Tranquillity season.”

“Stigma-busting”

Regarding Forests brings the sights, sounds and smells of the rainforest into our gallery” Dr Quinn added. “On The Trail of Tranquillity will introduce people to the hidden green space of Beckett Street Cemetery. Pop-up Potions and our Wish Forest family activities will show children the many treatments and medicine that we get from plants.  We’re also asking people to send us pictures of where they find tranquillity, which we’ll display as part of an exhibition here at the museum.”

Tranquillity is the latest offering at Thackray Museum of Medicine following their stigma-busting team-up with London’s Vagina Museum on this year’s Periods: A Brief Jaunt Up North. The museum reopened last year after a lengthy closure. That was partially enforced by the Covid pandemic, but also by a £4million redevelopment aimed at creating a venue for discovery and debate. Thackray was also shortlisted for the prestigious Art Fund Museum of the Year award last year.

Tranquillity launched on Saturday 23rd April. It runs until Sunday 17th July. Visitors can view it with a valid museum entry ticket, which once bought can be used for 12 months. More details: thackraymuseum.co.uk

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