19 April 2010

When is a chair not a chair?

Oh, Ron Arad, you are a star! Whiling away an hour or two before seeing Laurie Anderson at the Barbican, I was unsure what to expect of Mr Arad's exhibition, Restless. Simultaneously labelled as an architect, product designer, furniture maker and more, I wasn't wholly confident in how appealing his show would be. I should have had more faith. It was an absolute joy - full of cheek, humour, beauty, reverence, irreverence ... even some lostings and foundings (see earlier blog). The icing on the cake was that we got to see the man himself. As I was ooh-ing and ah-ing over Looming Lloyd and my favourite piece of the show, The Quick Fox And The Lazy Dog, along skipped (literally) Mr Arad, a beaming smile on his face as he ran to check on the progress of the moss and lichen in his typewriter/chair. Resembling a cross between Willy Wonka and The Mad Hatter, and delightfully animated, he came to life as he saw his work, in much the same way as children do when they see their mothers waiting in the school playground. Although surrounded by "please do not touch the exhibits" signs, I got the feeling that as soon as he knew no staff were watching, he would get a cheeky glint in his eye, and encourage all who were there to take their pick and have a seat.

Looming Lloyd (1989), Ron Arad

The Quick Fox and The Lazy Dog (1989), Ron Arad

It's been a busy couple of weeks exhibition wise - both 'Quilts' and 'Decode' at the V&A, 'The Honey Bee and the Hive' at the CAA, Tracey Emin & co at the Foundling Museum and Ian Penney at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery, but Ron Arad's Restless at the Barbican, London was the clear winner. Thank you Mr Arad - I'm now off in search of my own skip and cheeky glint!

10 April 2010

Lostings and Foundlings

A birthday trip to London, and a chance to visit some exhibitions that have been on my "to do" list for a while. First stop was the Foundling Museum in London, where the stars of the show proved not to be the eagerly anticipated Tracey Emin and Paula Rego exhibits, but small tokens of love, left by mothers for their child as they handed them over to the care of the Foundling Hospital. Sadly, these tokens never made it to their intended recipient, and the poignancy of this loss was a powerful contrast to their understated beauty and charm.

So, this got me thinking ... maybe I can find some way of relating my found treasures to this story. Exhibited on a gallery or studio wall they are foundlings. As they are removed from this faux exhibit to be worked on, added to, explored, does the space left behind become a losting?

Studio shot, 2010