Thursday finds ... Anish

The latest exhibition of Anish Kapoor's work is on in the Royal Academy of Arts, London and I was lucky enough to catch it before it closes this Friday at midnight. As I entered the courtyard of the Museum my attention was transfixed by the giant sculpture that stands at its centre. Silvers balls balance precariously one of top of the other as they reach upwards towards the sky.

So much so that it was only on looking away from it that I realised the queues to enter snaked their way around the yard. Over an hour to enter. Testament to the popularity of Kapoor.

You can see the lines reflected in the sculpture (above) and below.

I can definitely say that it was worth the wait. While not all of the work was original to the exhibition somehow I felt that it was. And in some ways I was right. The work Shooting into the Corner had first made its d├ębut in Vienna.The canon fires off rounds of red wax and Vaseline bullets at constant 20 minute intervals over the course of the entire exhibition.

So every 20 minutes the sculpture changes, evolves, becomes a different work. You can hear the children in the room, as they wait for the 20 minutes to come around again, telling their parents what shapes they can see on the wall. There's a bird, over there a dragon. And not only at this piece is the imagination of young and old alike inflamed. The entire exhibition encourages interaction.

Svayambh is the first piece to ever occupy 5 galleries to itself in the history of the Academy. Its name is derived from the Sanskrit for 'born by itself' or 'self generated'.

Put simply it is a giant red wax and Vaseline train that runs continually east to west, west to east along a track and through the arched doorways of the gallery. In its wake it leaves behind parts of itself, the red wax clings to the walls and floors of the gallery. It coats the corniced doorways and even the hands of some mischievous children who pay no heed to the gallery attendants 'don't touch the wax' calls.

The main feeling I get on leaving the exhibition is that those that have visited will remember it for a long time. As you pass through the rooms families create distorted tableau's of themselves in front of the Mirrors.

Friends giggle like school kids at the implied meaning behind the brightly coloured oval at the centre of Slug.

A little old lady dressed in her Sunday best walks hand in hand with her daughter, stopping to trace When I am Pregnant from 'a fuzz on the wall' when you stand directly in front of it, to a swelling mass that emerges seemingly from nowhere as you look at it sideways.

Yellow uses the brightly pigmented colours that Kapoor returns to time and again in his work. The reds, yellows and blues are reminiscent of the colours found in the markets of his native Bombay. Whether or not that is why he uses those colours is up to interpretation. Yellow sits on or in a wall of the gallery. What exactly the form of the sculpture is, is hard to say. It appears to have a sink hole at its centre sucking into the wall, an opposing from to the When I am Pregnant piece both in colour and form.

The room is full of people, some trying to puzzle out the form others just simply standing and watching it. You find yourself doing that constantly throughout the exhibition whether it is watching the slow progression of the wax train as it comes towards you or standing in front of the distorting mirrors watching as slight movements change your appearance.

Worth every second of queuing.

Hmmm this has turned into a bit of an essay hasn't it. I blame blogger for failing me in my photo attempts the first time around although now that they're here I can really lead with that. And also the talented Mr. Kapoor for making me rabbit on indefinitely. I'll save my love of all his other work for another day.

No comments:

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Receive emails about