On a beautifully sunny day in August I headed to London to see the Serpentine Pavilion and Summer House and the Festival of Love. After watching the world go by in Hyde Park while eating my lunch I head to this years Pavilion by the Bjarke Ingels Group.
The Pavilion was a cool and calm space with a light breeze. Inside the space is a small cafe and plenty of space for sitting to take in the space. People are taking it easy, relaxing and admiring aspects of the Pavilion. Through the day this will be an ever changing space as the sun moves and creates shadows and light across the Pavilion in different spots. At the moment the sun is right above me and the light is predominately coming from the left, this is because the cubs are shallow, on my right they are dead rectangles which are perhaps as long as me in length (if you’ve not met me, I’m quite short and so is Sarah). It would be fun if yay could crawl through them but it would completely change the calming atmosphere. The Pavililon is created from stacked cubes / rectangles and they are all stacked with an overlap. A baby girl has just entered her eyes are wide and she is looking all around in a totally calm trance. A little boy comments it’s like a little house. The calmness of the space really intrigues me. Big Knitting was full of children running, in here it is the complete opposite, is this something we could try and capture in our work one day? We really wanted to create something very interactive which Big Knitting was and we both feel we can develop on this and create even more interactive work, for now I think we will continue to create interactive chaos but maybe next year we’ll fancy calming it down a bit!
This year the Pavilion included Summer Houses as part of the exhibition. Kunlé Adeyemi’s created a inverse replica of Queen Caroline’s Temple. Barkow Leibinger was inspired by a 18th Century temple which was designed by William Kent. Yona Friedman’s was a modular structure that can be assembled and dissembled in different formations, this was a extension of La Ville Spatial (Spatial City). Sarah & I are really interested in modular work and what it could become, it was great to see this summer house to get modular ideas. The structure was very simple, based on a cube but felt very unique with the way it was stacked, this is definitely something to think about as it allows for the installation to feel different at every exhibition it goes to and can also adjust to fit into different spaces.
Asia Kha’s summer hose was inspired by the Queen Caroline’s Temple which was positioned to catch the sunlight from the Serpentine lake. This was a great place to sit and catch the sunlight, I spent a good half an hour soaking up the sun and watching people interacting with the sunhouses, it was a brilliant space to be in.
From Hyde Park I jumped onto a Boris bike and headed to Southbank, I was pretty impressed with my self as I made it pretty quickly! This summer Southside is celebrating with Festival of Love, a festival for families for ‘fun in the sun’ and it was a very sunny day for me to have a bit of fun. Appearing Rooms by Jeppe Hein was the first installation I came across, it was certainly fun in the sun. Appearing Rooms is a water fountain shooting water from the ground in different shoot formations for children to run through. The sounds of joyous screams fill the air as the kids have the time of their lives jumping in and out of the water. I wish I could join them, maybe I’ll have to make one in my garden. I am enjoying the odd splash and sprays that are bouncing off them as they run. The screams are infectious and bring absolute joy, I can’t wipe the smile off my face. Maybe water art us the way to go! For now work that creates excitement and screams of joy is the aim.
My second find is Modified Social Benches NY again by Jeppe Hein, bright red benches in fun different shapes. They are very hard to photograph, kids are loving them too much and adults too. Either posing for a pic or sliding down them. I love that they are here all summer, so solid, safe and useable.
Inside the Royal Festival Hall Ventricle by Softlab NYC hangs, the structure of a heart on a massive scales shining in reflective pinks and purple. The material is very interesting, I’m not exactly sure what it is, the guide says a complete woven aluminium, I will see if I can research it. Love Stoies from Southbank made me slightly tearful, the Archive Studio wall is covered in a tales of love stories that all have a connections with Soutbank, here is just one of them from Stewart “I did my courting there. Concert followed by 5 shilling supper – choice of 2 out of 3 courses. Little lamplit tables overlooking the Thames. Not too expensive for two young people, romantic, and then my “young man” walked me over the bridge to put me on the last train to Putney. Happy Days’. Capturing and sharing stories is a wonderful thing that art can do and something I’d like to do as an artist, meet people find out their stories, create a platform for them, share them and preserve them. My final find inside was The Blue House by Alpha Diagne, this was a real moving insight to the Jungle. To end my visit I saw Just You and Me by Jonathan Kenndy Enyin-Otebil with How About Studio. Enyin-Otebil won the Southbank’s Design Challenge to work along Nick Wood How About Studio. For Summer of Love he’s created Just You and Me which is inspired by two polar bears and evokes ideas of love and sustainability, I really like the structure of it.