Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Walking along the riverfront from Royal Arsenal to Woolwich Leisure centre you pass the Royal Arsenal gardens. Among the wildflowers, skater park and debris from last nights drunks, you can see many pieces of sculpture. The one above caught my eye as it looks like a shivalingum that you find in Hindu temples. I must admit, I don't know what it is about. Next time I'm along there, I'll take a better look and try to photograph the other sculptures dotted about.
Coming up upon art in life is interesting. Don't get me wrong, I like walking around galleries - for instance, the Barbara Hepworth works displayed in St Ives museum in her name. The pieces seen together form stories and show the progression of the artist. But seeing sculpture in public makes it less about the artist and more about the environment. You can also touch it which galleries tend to frown upon.
"Assembley" by Peter Burke, displayed at the Thames Clipper pier at Royal Arsenal reminds me of a Dr Who scene. My tot doesn't like the faceless statues. They are quite creepy. I'm mildly surprised that they haven't been vandalised. There are signs saying cameras watch the area but we couldn't spot any (note: that's not an invitation to vandalise). I'm always curious why the statues are all men but maybe Gormley-like, they are based on the artist. Luckily, the place is never busy, so they aren't in the way. But I'd love to see them placed somewhere like Oxford Circus to see how people would interact with them.
I was excited to read about Anish Kapoor's exhibition at the Royal Academy http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/anish-kapoor/about/. Somehow, I don't think they will let me take the pushchair around the galleries so I need to find someone to look after the tot who would want to climb all over the sculptures and mix the colours or get her fingerprints on the shiny surfaces that he often uses.