I’ve just spent the last week in London doing a bit of work experience on the news and features desk of LOOK magazine and meeting up with some old friends. My lovely Guernsey friends, Jess and Natasha, were kind enough to provide me with a place to stay in their flat in Brixton, an area of London which I’d never been to before but have a new love for after visiting Brixton market last night!
On the Bank Holiday Monday before I started at LOOK, I met up with my friend, Rachel for a bit of culture down at the Southbank centre. Now, let me tell just make a little disclaimer. I like modern art, I do. I’m not about to go do a Billy Eichner, but as much as I do like it, sometimes I just don’t get it. I’m sure some of you have been there, we’re staring at a canvas with a couple of blue lines on it and thinking ‘I could have done that’. I know, I know, if you’re an artiste or an appreciator of modern art then you’re probably scripting a strongly worded comment right now and I’m sorry, please don’t hate me for it, educate me instead!
But this confusion is perhaps a sentiment which is reflected in Martin Creed’s retrospective at the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank – What’s The Point Of It? A question that has reassured me that my recent outlook on art is perhaps more constructive. Instead of feeling like everyone else is in on a joke that I just don’t get, I’ve started to look at things how I want to see them. Making my own interpretation instead of relying on someone else to explain theirs.
Saying that, on the Monday, Rach and I made our way to the Hayward Gallery to have a peek at Martin Creed’s What’s the Point Of It? exhibition which we’d both heard so much about. While there were a couple of ‘eh?’ moments – oh, come on, you know the ones – it was definitely the best art exhibition that I’d seen in a long time – perhaps ever…?
What I really admired was that Creed wants you to interact with his art and this exhibition – sometimes humorously – reiterates the point that anything can be art – yes, even a scrunched up piece of paper. As you take in the retrospective of Martin’s various works you meander around the gallery, moving from rooms with swooping neon lights to outside areas with risqué videos showing on large cinema screen. If you’ve been, you’ll know what I’m talking about, and if you know me, you’ll know that this was one of my favourite parts of the exhibition. If you’ve not been yet, it’s a screen showing a P-E-N-I-S. Shhhh…
BUT the best thing about the Martin Creed exhibition and the reason that we went along was for work no.200 ‘half the air in a given space’ or a piece more commonly known as the balloon room. It does what it says on the tin really. A room full to the rafters of white balloons where its okay to regress back to childhood and run around freely, giggling as you go.
At first Rachel and I kept losing each other…where is she…?
Oh there she is!
The light shifts and changes in the room depending on where you are and what other people are doing around you, something which I loved.
Most of the time it was mesmerising…
…but sometimes it got a bit overwhelming…
…but then we took some selfies and it was all okay again…
I would definitely recommend heading to the Hayward Gallery at the Southbank centre to see Martin Creed’s exhibition; it’s fun and even if you don’t enjoy the rest of it, you can run around in a room full of balloons for 15 minutes. What more could you possibly ask for? Well, maybe a ball pit, but lets hope that’ll be Creed’s next endeavour.
I’d recommend heading over at the weekend with a group of friends (or a date) so you can swing by the food fest or the Bleecker St. burger van (which I talked about here) and the Udderbelly for some drinks and food as well to make a proper day of it! Pretending you’re an art critic can make you hungry!
This has been a bit of a long one so congrats if you got the whole way through! Reward yourself with a biscuit, you most definitely deserve it!