Physical traces of making: Part 3

Since my last additions based around 'Physical traces of making' I've been scaling the work up slightly and also looking at different ways to present it. 

Work in progress with porcelain 

The two or three pieces below have been photographed on mirror glass against white and black backgrounds to see how or whether it changes the appearance in any way. On closer inspection the porcelain against black seems to bring out more detail on the surface. 

The use of monotones in reversal is definitely something to explore further.

Mirror glass is a material I'm revisiting from the exhibition at Arthouse1 in 2014.
I'm fascinated by extending the work and revealing parts of the form that would normally be concealed by the plinth or surface it's sitting on. 

I'm particularly interested in these tiny points of contact with the mirror glass raising the rest of the surface up and away. Creating new visual spaces intangible spaces and small pockets of space. 

High fired Porcelain

Richard Serra at the Gagosian Gallery London 2014

The last time Richard Serra was exhibiting in London was back in 2009 
Five years on the Gagosian gallery nestled in between the streets near Kings Cross in Britannia Street is host to another breathtaking exhibiton of Richard Serra'a gigantic steel structures. 

Room One

You are confronted with two large sheets of steel wedged into the edges of the room one balanced on top of the other with the smallest point of contact. This is something Serra seems to be able to effortlessly achieve. The interaction of two structures combining weight, density, counter balance and the engineering of materials. 

Room Two 

Comprised of a series of steel rectangles positioned very much like a maze,
allowing you to walk through and interweave in between these structures. Each and every angle opens up into a different view point or perspective within the work and the space. 

Room Three

For those familiar with Richard Serra's works this is a structure that you recognise however, the outer appearance of these huge imposing forms always provide an element of surprise once you enter inside. These works have to be experienced, from first glance you may make the assumption that you are simply going to be entering a darkened tunnel space. Part of that is true but these forms have been designed with much more consideration the subtle changes within the curves the undulations on one side, the quality of light and the distortion of sound. 

All of these elements combined can throw the senses off balance. 
You enter with a sense of wondering and the journey through this contained space is changing with each step. The difference with this particular piece is that it is completely closed at the top making the experience more claustrophobic. 

This exhibition is on until 28th Feb 2015 
for anyone interested in large scale works the human senses and spatial works this is not to be missed.

Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy

Sensing Spaces: Architecture Re-imagined at the Royal Academy been open a few weeks now and I've been chomping at the bit to get there. Finally an exhibition based around Spaces and architectural practice with a focus upon the human senses and experience. This is a subject that has been a passion if not a slight obsession for a long while now. I felt this was a real departure from other architecture shows giving the viewer the opportunity to fully engage with these structures with a clear insight into elements of the design process and thinking. In much the same way as 1:1 at the Victoria and Albert Museum architecture for small spaces did in 2010  

Pezo von Ellrichshausen

This modestly built wooden construction leads you up into the heavens of the Royal Academy via a spiral stairway built into the cylindrical supporting structures. 
Or you are able to go up or down through a ramp walkway to the side. As the walls at the top are quite high there are small viewing holes enabling you to look out beyond the gallery space.

Kengo Kuma
Two darkened rooms are allocated to house Kengo Kuma's bamboo installations. These fragile looking structures subtly lit from the floor creates an immersive space on initially encountering can make you feel a little off balance. 
There is a strong scent of Japanese Cyprus and Tatami which heightens the reaction when encountering the space. Scent is often linked to a particular memory 
Personally I was impressed by the way a spatial piece of work had been created and constructed using such fine materials hi-lighting weightlessness yet it still had a real presence as an architectural form. 

Li Xiaodong
This Maze like structure leads you in the this darkened encased environment. You have several different routes to choose from as you head further into the space. On your journey there are several resting spots for you to be able to sit or simply observe passers by.
Eventually you reach the central point and find yourself in the middle of a zen garden. The space appears to be much larger than it is initially as one of the walls houses mirrored glass creating the illusion of expansive space.

Grafton Architects 
The last two rooms had to be my favorite as you enter these spaces I immediately thought of Rothko's Chapel in Texas or Alvar Aalto Church of the Three Crosses 1955-1958.
 These spaces had an overwhelming feeling of weight, concrete, and density that hung in the air above you. When you entered the space it wasn't apparent how intense these pieces were particularly the darkened room as the lighting changed slowly over time creating it's own environment drawing you in to explore the space from every possible angle. 

The film that you were invited to watch before leaving the exhibition was a fascinating insight in to each architects practice having been selected and invited to participate and design work specifically for the Royal Academy's space.

 I also felt this exhibition was really approachable and inclusive, It had been curated in a thoughtful manner each piece of work had plenty of space to exist in. As the title of the exhibition explains it taps into the human emotion, the memory, the subconscious it's a show that everyone can enjoy and take something away. It's certainly not a show exclusively for architects and creative practitioners. It is however, an excellent opportunity to introduce children to large work spatial work as they can really experience and interact with each piece in different ways, which is often rare within a art gallery, Having said that it's also for anyone who is simply interested in exploring, experiencing or feeding an inquiring mind.

Sensing Spaces also brings very complicated ideas around the subject of Phenomenology to the forefront. Whether you are familiar with the ideas or not. 
We interact with building structures and spaces on a daily basis. They all have an impact on the way we feel and the way we move through them or use them and we sometimes don't even realise.
 This exhibition really hi-lighted this important element within architecture and may make some of us more aware of our surroundings in the future.