Exhibition Review: ‘Lumières, The Play of Brilliants’ exposition, Éléphant Paname

Exhibition Review: ‘Lumières, The Play of Brilliants’ exposition, Éléphant Paname

6th March – 31st May 2015

After handing over our tickets to be verified, the steward pointed us in the direction of an entrance. Upon entering, our senses were immediately struck with the darkness of the interior. The lights were low, the room was empty of people, and we were confronted with a circular floor-to-ceiling installation. However, this is not just any normal installation. Utilising both water and light in a captivating way, DGT’s (Dorell, Ghotmeh, Take) Light in Water is a magical sight. It actually takes a couple of seconds to register what is occurring in this otherworldly spectacle. Falling from the ceiling is a cascading waterfall, which is illuminated with the continual changing strength of lights, creating an ethereal experience for the viewer. Intensifying the experience further, visitors can walk into the very centre of the installation, becoming one with the piece. The exquisite combination of light and water makes the water droplets seem light graceful falling diamonds. Opening the exhibition, DGT’s Light in Water truly sets the tone for the rest of the show, creating a continual enigmatic atmosphere which is maintained throughout the upcoming works.

Welcome to ‘Lumières: The Play of Brilliants’ exposition at the Eléphant Paname. Arranged throughout various rooms of the building, beginning with DGT’s Light in Water one continues the journey by ascending upwards through the building.

This is an exposition all about sensory experience, and the ways in which one can encounter and participate in the perception of the works on display. On show are eleven different light installations, varying from size, medium and meaning.

DGT ( Dorell. Ghotmeh. Take), 'Light in water'
DGT ( Dorell. Ghotmeh. Take), ‘Light in water’
DGT ( Dorell. Ghotmeh. Take), 'Light in water'
DGT ( Dorell. Ghotmeh. Take), ‘Light in water’
Soo Sunny Park, 'Unwoven Light'
Soo Sunny Park, ‘Unwoven Light’

Another incredible work worth mentioning in depth is Soo Sunny Park’s mystical installation, Unwoven Light. Suspended from the ceiling, Unwoven Light is an enormous sculpture composed of reflective diamonds made from dichroic Plexiglas of varying colours and transparency. Similar to DGT’s Light in Water, and of course the other installations on display, Unwoven Light is a truly sensory experience. The wave-like sculpture manipulates the light in the room, to reflect and refract the light in a multitude of incredible ways. Reverberating off the walls are a plethora of multi-coloured and rainbow-like illuminations, transforming the whole room into a jewel. Unquestionably, this is a very poignant and sensory installation, with every viewer’s encounter different. The ethereal quality of the work certainly confirms Soo Sunny Park’s ultimate object of the piece:

“We don’t notice light when looking so much as we notice the things light allows us to see. Unwoven Light captures light and causes it to reveal itself, through colorful reflections and refractions on the installation’s surfaces and on the gallery floor and walls.”

Soo Sunny Park, 'Unwoven Light'
Soo Sunny Park, ‘Unwoven Light’
Soo Sunny Park, 'Unwoven Light'
Soo Sunny Park, ‘Unwoven Light’
Flynn Talbot, 'Primary'
Flynn Talbot, ‘Primary’

 

In the adjacent room, visitors are presented with Flynn Talbot’s sculpture, Primary. Installed onto the back wall, the viewer is presented with the work face on. At first glance, Primary looks as if a two-dimensional work that creates the illusion of being a three-dimensional piece. However, on further inspection, Primary is actually constructed with protruding projections, 121 spikes to be correct.

However, this piece is not only about light. For Talbot, one of the main intentions of the work was to explore the ways in which we experience colour through light. Projecting primary colours, which are then lit via different sources of LED lights; red, blue and green all blend to create different combinations. As Talbot states, “Colour in light is different to paint for example… the wall sculpture is designed to break up the light and explore the mixing of colour.”

Flynn Talbot’s Primary is ultimately a work wherein light and the object are inherent to one another, working in unison to provide an engaging visual experience. Continuously transforming into a variety of colours, there is something mesmerising and hypnotic about Primary.

Flynn Talbot, 'Primary'
Flynn Talbot, ‘Primary’
Flynn Talbot, 'Primary'
Flynn Talbot, ‘Primary’

Overall, Eléphant Paname’s ‘Lumières: The Play of Brilliants’ exposition is intended to make the viewer engage with the various installations on show. With the aim of stimulating the senses, ‘Lumières: The Play of Brilliants’ is a brilliant exhibition that shows the blurring of the boundaries between art and technology, but also the material qualities of the work and the immaterial nature of light.

You can see more of the photos that I took whilst at the ‘Lumières: The Play of Brilliants’ exhibition here over my Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/roisingrace/sets/72157649247395563/

For more information about the exposition, click here: http://www.elephantpaname.com/fr/programmation/lumieres

Exhibition Review: ‘David Bowie Is’, exposition Philharmonie de Paris

Exhibition Review: ‘David Bowie Is’, exposition Philharmonie de Paris

Back in 2013, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London hosted an extraordinary exhibition that offered a unique opportunity to delve into the wonderful career of one of music’s greatest legends – David Bowie.

From a personal perspective, I was beyond excited to find out that the V&A David Bowie Is exhibition would be making a stop in Paris for numerous reasons. When the retrospective first opened in London, I was unable to go and see it due to the rapid rate at which the exhibition sold out.

But for those who did not have the opportunity to see the V&A exhibition first hand, also had the chance to be able to ‘virtually visit’ the exhibit via one of the many showings of the exhibition at the cinema. I can probably imagine that you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, but just hold on one second. Due to the sheer popularity of the exhibition, the V&A presented a live screening in the form of David Bowie is Happening Now, which was shown nationwide. Within this, cinemagoers had the chance to ‘walk’ through the exhibition with the curators, and watch behind the scene clips with extra archival footage and interviews being shown. My Mum and I bought tickets immediately, and finally had the chance to be a part of this fantastic retrospective. With this said, you can probably imagine how excited I was to hear that David Bowie Is was making a stop in Paris.

The exhibition begins with the emergence of Bowie as a musician, which then chronological traces his career and transformation. David Bowie Is is interactive and engaging. As visitors walk around the exhibition, moving in and out of the evolution of ‘Bowie’, the music changes in the headsets carried, and as one approaches the various screens throughout the exhibition showing video clips and interviews, the headset also changes. This exhibition is seamless. With a lot of ch-ch-ch-ch-changes – pun intended.

The David Bowie Is retrospective offers visitors a multi-dimensional experience, comprising of over 300 objects. The exhibition includes handwritten lyrics where one can see the processes and drafting of various songs – what is fascinating is seeing the different words and phrases crossed out, changes which certainly would have created very different songs than the ones we know. Also on display are photographs, music videos and album artwork.

Especially interesting are the various sixty original iconic stage costumes on show, including Ziggy Stardust bodysuits (1972), and Alexander McQueen’s Union Jack coat designed for the Earthling album cover (1997). Displayed as if Bowie himself was wearing them, viewing these famous costumes in person is an incredible experience.

Something that really stuck with me after visiting, was finding out that Bowie is actually a really good painter (which may not surprise some of you). I had never really known about this side of the singer, and so it was refreshing to be able to view some of his own artwork on display within the exhibition. Not only was Bowie’s creative side shown in his artwork, but throughout the retrospective his own drawings and illustrations for various music videos, films and even sketches of stage designs for the Ziggy Stardust tour, are on show.

David Bowie Is is not only about the physical manifestation of Bowie’s various personas, but it also offers a glimpse into the process of writing songs and creating lyrics. What I found thought-provoking was Bowie’s contraption called the Verbasizer. A computer application, the Verbasizer brought together different verbs and words that Bowie claimed helped with the process of lyric writing. Having read a lot of critical views regarding this specific part of the exhibition, and indeed Bowie’s creative past, this computer programme is an interesting addition to the enigmatic character of Bowie. Whether you agree or disagree with such method is up to further debate. (You can read a bit more about it here: http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2013/03/ty-roberts-on-the-trail-from-working-with-david-bowie-to-co-founding-gracenote.html)

As one explores the visually stunning and incredible exhibition, the finale brings you into a room surrounded by projections of Bowie with various videos from stage performances. It is almost like being physically at these concerts. (For those unlike my parents who have seen Bowie in concert live, this is the perfect opportunity to imagine what it must have been like.)

Overall, David Bowie Is offers an incredible multi-media and multi-sensory experience, providing a glimpse into the complex artistic and creative transformation of David Bowie. Bowie die-hards and enthusiasts, as well as those on the lesser scale, will undoubtedly enjoy this exhibition.

Venue: Philharmonie de Paris.

Dates: 2nd March – 31st May 2015.

Websitehttp://davidbowieis.philharmoniedeparis.fr

(Photo from Deutsche Welle)
(Photograph taken from the Guardian)

Le Printemps à Paris

Le Printemps à Paris

It has been a while since I have managed to sit down and write a blog post, and to my lovely readers I apologise! The last few weeks have been busy, and despite all this chaos, we are finally catching the first glimpses of Spring here in Paris (aka. Printemps en Francais). It may not be April just yet, but we are indeed experiencing more rain at the moment – sigh. Moving on from weather issues…

As I mentioned, my somewhat hectic schedule has been a fun one! Two weekends ago I was blessed to have my parents come and visit me in Paris. As it was both Mother’s day on the Sunday, as well as Mum’s birthday, we made the most of the time we had together. This included venturing to the Marché aux puces de Saint-Ouen and the Puces de Vanves Marché, which both have amazing trinkets and antiques on offer. For those who don’t know my father, he has a little (‘little’ being gigantic) passion for collecting records, and so these markets were somewhat like stepping into Paradise! Albeit it overpriced compared to his usual experiences at British car-boots. We also had pre-booked tickets to go and see the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition that is currently on a world-wide tour. Having grown up listening to Bowie, and with a father and uncle who are big fans, I was extremely excited to attend. We were unfortunate to not be able to see the exhibition in the V&A when it was in London, with mum and I instead going to the cinema for a tour of the exhibition – without having to leave Liverpool or our seats! It was great to have my parents over, not only to celebrate my mum’s birthday and because I’ve missed them, but also to be treated out for some nice food!

During the week, I met up with Emily Guerry, one of my old tutors from York who was visiting Paris with her current students from Cambridge University. I was delighted to be able to join Emily and her pupils on some of their visits. On the Monday we met at the Musée Cite de l’architecture et du patrimoine and examined the many Romanesque and Gothic reliefs; Tuesday morning saw me join them for a visit to the Abbey de Saint-Germain which is very close to my language school; and on the Friday I headed with the group to Laon to see the fantastic cathedral (as well as going to a lovely dinner that night!). Spending much time with fellow medievalists got me all excited for getting back to further study next year and continuing researching something that I am so passionate about.

The following weekend (this one just gone) also welcomed Sally, an old friend from school. I haven’t seen Sally in person for around 3 years, and so it was awesome to see her in the flesh and not on my Skype screen. Sally is also an Au Pair, but in Berlin, so she knows the routine that I am currently in. Due to her flight arriving the same time I collect the children from school, Sally had to jump in the car and come for the ride! The plus of this was that I gave her an unconventional tour of Versailles. We spent our weekend dining out with good friends. One of the reasons why me and Sally are such great friends is that we have such similar interests, one being art and culture. So we ended up exploring the Musée d’Orsay, Musée de l’Orangerie, and the current exposition at the Éléphant Paname gallery. I also took Sally around the Sainte-Chapelle – any trip to Paris avec moi is not complete without visiting this divine beauty, and I was excited to see that all the boards covering the renovation work have been removed. En fin! I will definitely have to go back again soon with my dad’s wide-eye camera lens to try to capture this exquisite space. Although the weather was pretty rubbish during the weekend, we were blessed with blue skies on Monday morning. So, before Sally’s flight we headed off on a bike ride in Saint Cloud park to see the wonderful views of the city. Unfortunately for me, I could not get on the spare bike (it was too big for me!), and so was left with the only options of running next to Sally or to take a children’s scooter. I chose the latter. What an intense workout! Never again.

So there you have it. My March thus far, which continues to be a busy one. Tomorrow is my birthday, and on Saturday night I will be going to dinner with some great friends of mine for Thai – I have been dreaming about Thai food for so long now, and cannot wait.

The Virgin and Child sculpture at the Abbey de Saint-Germain
The Virgin and Child sculpture at the Abbey de Saint-Germain
The western front of Laon Cathedral
The western front of Laon Cathedral
One of Monet's stunning paintings on display at the Musée de l'Orangerie.
One of Monet’s stunning paintings on display at the Musée de l’Orangerie.

 

 

Exhibition Review: ‘Voyager au Moyen Âge’ exposition’, Musée de Cluny, Paris

Exhibition Review: ‘Voyager au Moyen Âge’ exposition’, Musée de Cluny, Paris

The current exhibition at the Musée de Cluny offers a journey through time and space during the Middle Ages. ‘Voyager au Moyen Âge’ (‘Travelling in the Middle Ages’) hosts a variety of key aspects of travel in the Medieval period. As one walks around the exhibition, which is currently on show in the third-century Gallo-Roman thermal bathing hall, you are presented with different types of traveller, from the merchant to the pilgrim, the prince to the artist. Furthermore, the exhibition highlights the diverse reasons for travelling during this time, encompassing specific issues such as the aspiration for knowledge, the need to demonstrate visibility within specific societies and the journey of the afterlife.  On show are a selection of varying objects, including tapestries and reliquaries taken on travel, to illuminated manuscripts illustrating maps of various countries. Probably the most notable artefact is displayed right in the centre of the exhibition – the fragments of a medieval boat which have been recreated to provide a tangible sense of the physical nature of such journeys and what they may have entailed.

Overall, the objects on show are interesting, and offer one an insight into the various aspects of travel during the Middle Ages. The exhibition closes on 23rd February 2015, so there’s still time left to be transported and travel through the life of a medieval voyager.

You can view more of my photos taken within the exhibition here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/roisingrace/sets/72157649491292490/

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MET: ‘Radiant Light Stained Glass from Canterbury Cathedral’

Jared (detail), 1178–80, Canterbury Cathedral © Robert Greshoff Photography, courtesy Dean and Chapter of Canterbury
Jared (detail), 1178–80, Canterbury Cathedral © Robert Greshoff Photography, courtesy Dean and Chapter of Canterbury

Between February 25th and May 18th the Cloisters Museum at the MET in New York is hosting an exhibition presenting stained glass from England’s historic Canterbury Cathedral, dating from 1178-80. I find this concept quite unusual I’m not going to lie, as the exhibitions features six Romanesque-period windows that have never left the cathedral since their creation. Bringing stained-glass from the Cathedral to the MET – why when you can just go to Canterbury itself? I guess through bringing the glass over the pond, so to speak, allows more people to see the beauty of Canterbury’s windows. However, I feel that taking such works out of their religious context renders them almost ‘dumb’ in the sense that they’re not functioning in the religious manner that they should be. I guess times have changed so much anyway, that perhaps the religious function of the stained glass windows are becoming more over-looked and less part of their identity. Having studied Canterbury Cathedral last term, I fell in love with it. I have never been there myself, but having seen and learnt about it through images and online 3-D tours I would love to visit.

If anyone is feeling incredibly generous and would like to provide me with tickets (and travel…) to go to the MET to see this exhibition I will love you forever!

For more information and beautiful pictures of the stained glass on show, visit the MET’s website here: http://www.metmuseum.org/en/exhibitions/listings/2014/canterbury-stained-glass

Also, Apollo magazine (who I interned for during the Summer) have created this awesome article showing some of the best examples of stained-glass across the world, check it out! https://www.apollo-magazine.com/stained-glass/

The Norman Rae Gallery: ‘Afterlife’

Emily Garthwaite Poster

The Norman Rea Gallery in Derwent College is currently hosting a series of photographs by Emily Garthwaite. Portraying various scenes such as portraits and landscape photographs, this series captures a poignant and personal journey around India. In September 2013, Garthwaite embarked on a ‘pilgrimage’ around India to follow her family history. Garthwaite travels with her camera and her grandmother’s ashes in order to visually capture the spiritual and personal journey through India to choose the perfect spot to scatter these ashes. Garthwaite invites us on this poignant journey through her identity and heritage.

The exhibition runs from February 24th to March 7th. I haven’t seen the exhibition yet, but plan on going next week and hopefully will aim to write a brief review of it. This is the last exhibition of the term, so don’t miss out!

If you want to learn a bit more about the exhibition check out the Norman Rea Gallery website: http://www.thenormanreagallery.co.uk/laura-elias.html