Wednesday 16 September 2015

Go and see some installation art this September

It would seem that September is to be the month for striking public art installations in London.

I went a couple of days ago to see the hauntingly beautiful Heartbeat installation by French designer photographer and artist Charles P├ętillon in Covent Garden's Market Building.

It is a mesmerising work comprising thousands of white balloons suspended in a clump from the ceiling like a giant man-made cloud. It is fitted with lights which pulse on and off giving the impression of a heartbeat. The installation looks very organic in form particularly when contrasted with all of the brick, steel and glass of it's industrial setting.

It is a work that really benefits from viewing on a couple of occasions in different lightings and moods. The first time I went it was pouring with rain outside and very grey but the work felt really warm and it was calming to just take the time to walk around it and really get to know it. The second time I went was early afternoon and there were some musicians playing which gave it a much more vibrant and energetic feeling and I noticed all the people engaging with the work, posing for photos with it taking photos or videos and posting it on social media.

On my second visit I also had time to go and see the pop up gallery showing some of P├ętillon's photographs which gave me a bit more insight into his work. I would thoroughly recommend popping in if you have the time.

Then today I went to see The Rising Tide by Jason deCaires Taylor down on the riverside near Vauxhall. This visit takes a little more planning as the sculpture only emerges or in fact disappears two hours either side of high tide.

If you are a pinterest user then chances are you will have come across the work of Jason deCaires Taylor but it did take me a little time to connect the grim grey sculptures with his usual vibrant work. Such as his famous underwater sculpture park of the coast of Grenada which makes you just want to book a flight and dive into the sea.

The Rising Tide doesn't leave you with quite the same urge to put on your bathers and dare the Thames but it is a fascinating installation none the less. There is a certain comic quality to the work with the one horse with it's head down as if it is drinking or hiding and when only the heads are on display one seems to be straining out of the water. There is also something surreal and a little unnerving about watching just the heads and shoulders in the water. I wonder if like Antony Gormley's sculptures on the edges of buildings there have been any calls to the police with the fear that someone is drowning.

I would be fascinated to know if the artist is going to try to take any underwater photographs like those he has taken of other works.

If you want to visit then do make sure to plan it around the approximate High Tide times for September.

Tue 1 (11.45am); Wed 2 (12.30pm); Thur 3 (1pm); Fri 4 (1.30pm); Sat 5 (2pm); Sun 6 (2.45pm); Mon 7 (3.45pm); Tue 8 (5pm); Wed 9 (6.45pm); Thur 10 (8pm); Fri 11 (8.15am); Sat 12 (9am); Sun 13 (9.45am); Mon 14 (10.15am); Tue 15 (11am); Wed 16 (11.15am); Thur 17 (11.45am); Fri 18 (12.15pm); Sat 19 (12.45pm); Sun 20 (1.15pm); Mon 21 (1.30pm); Tue 22 (2.15pm); Wed 23 (3.30pm); Thur 24 (5.45pm); Fri 25 (7pm); Sat 26 (7.30am); Sun 27 (8.45am); Mon 28 (9.45am); Tue 29 (10.30am); Wed 30 (11.15am)