#SocialSeen: Do You Like My Picture Of A Picture (of a picture)?

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The Propaganda social team popped over to check out the beautifully converted old Leeds Tetley brewery. And very nice it is too. It boasts a mix of amazing original features, like the grand revolving doors, but it’s also light & airy – and has some pretty groovy art on display.

But we knew this already – thanks to Twitter & Instagram. We even took some arty snaps of our own to tell the world (AKA show off) about our cultural lunchtime.

On the way back we chatted about the pros & cons of art galleries activity encouraging people to share photographic evidence of their visits on social media… Is it taking away from the integrity of the art (we say, whilst stroking our chins) or making it accessible to more people?

Chief art critic at The Times, Rachel Campbell Johnston, said recently that an image taken on a phone takes directly away from the challenging experience of viewing art, that it makes it one dimensional and that social media as a whole reduces art to the lowest common denominator.

We disagree. To thrive, galleries need to embrace social media. It is, at the end of the day, the modern word-of-mouth. Most people take fabulous pictures of the art, the buildings and the space, extending the artistic experience further. Some people might share the odd out-of-focus, badly cropped snap – but when the sentiment is positive, no harm done.

Social media is bringing new audiences into galleries, creating intrigue & interest, starting conversations about art and making visitors part of it by inspiring them to be artistic.

(For the record, the Times’ Chief Art Critic isn’t on Twitter. Hmm).

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