Monday, 11 October 2010

Brain food

Tate Photography
I'm ridiculously excited about going to see the new Turbine Hall installation at Tate Modern.

The Chinese conceptual artist Ai Weiwei has created a deceptively simple work; entering the hall, a sea of dappled grey stretches out before you.  It looks bland, perhaps a little like the dull pavements of London outside.  As you walk closer, it becomes apparent that the mass is made up of millions of individual tiny parts, sunflower seeds.  But look closer - each 'seed' has been hand crafted and painted by the craftspeople of Jingdezhen, a Chinese town famous for producing ceramics for the imperial court.  And there are 100 million sunflower seeds on display, an inconceivable amount.

The sensory experience of walking through the hall must be quite extraordinary, every step casually displacing a day's labour for a dozen hands.  And being a Brighton girl I can imagine the rustling and laboured tread of walking on damp shingle.

It opens tomorrow and runs till May next year so there's plenty of time to pop down and have a look (apologies to non-Londoners!).  Just try to resist the temptation to nibble.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh - I'm keen to see it too - fascinating!
    The artist was interviewed on telly last night. Can't believe each 'seed' is handmade!


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