Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

EL Writes: “This is the kind of thing boys usually grow out of when they are 7 years old” declared a woman standing near me, behind the firing cannon.” An ejaculation machine, that’s what it is, especially something for men.” The 20 minutes interval between firing was almost up and more people came pressing behind, closely. Then suddenly there was a very loud explosion and with a heavy thud the red wax cylinder flew through the open door opposite into the next room, where there was already an assemblage of thick layers of red splash deposited. Streaks and dots of red reached incongruously far up into the fine cream and gold painted ceiling.

One enters the exhibition at “As if to Celebrate” — to pass groups of red and yellow cones and mounds, “a Mountain Blooming with red Flowers” in vibrant deep pure pigment.

The next room is dominated by a large yellow square, which at its centre appears hollow, receding deep into the wall. One feels in need of checking out and when walking right close, it is not receding at all, astonishingly it is bulging out. Not concave but convex. Quite amazing. One would really like to touch the phenomenon, but a warning sign reads “Don’t touch, work is fragile”. (Editor’s note: well, and I thought it was actually concave. We can’t agree, that’s how beguiling it is.)

The mirror sculptures, the so called ‘non-objects’ are equally confusing. The closer one steps up to them, the less likely one is to seeing one’s expected distorted apparition. Howeve, turn away from the mirror to other further non-object mirrors and look back and now to your consternation you can just about see yourself in the mirror you had previously stood in front of.

This show defies your perceptions, engages your participation as if you were a child again and makes you wonder about the meaning of things.

Everybody looks happy, people are smiling so much “ says my companion.

RL Writes: I’ve never seen an art exhibition with so many delighted grins on people’s faces. All art needs its audience, but here we and our perceptions are an integral part of the work. It is full of things that don’t seem to be there (like holes in space through which a different or upside down parallel world is glimpsed) or don’t seem the shape and space they are. But the real jaw-droppers are the dark red wax events spread over 7 galleries: the great 30-ton Svayambh travels as fast and as slow as Time itself, silently squeezing past a line of four ornate arched doorways; elsewhere, large wax plug cannon-balls are hydraulically Shooting into the Corner to cling or splat onto the far wall of the gallery beyond, accumulating where they fall. These are as majestic and magnificent as anything in art or nature. Possibly as affecting as whale-watching, but a lot easier to get to, even from Hastings. (RL)

Posted 12:50 Sunday, Dec 13, 2009 In: Visual Arts

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