Thursday, July 14, 2011

Projects and Galleries

My projects have been progressing well at the Tate. In just two sculptures, I am dealing with the materials including the following: ferrous rods, bitumen, aluminum wire, clay, latex, cotton string, wax, and wood. The materials from which the sculptures are made are incompatible, responding differently to changes in environmental conditions and physical forces. Hence, they have shaped up to be quite a challenging project. I have also been helping to prepare for the de-installation of Mike Nelson’ Coral Reef. It is a multi-room installation with what must be thousands of items that all need to be properly documented for storage and future installation. Fortunately, I am focusing on just the store room (which only contains hundreds of items).

The Sir John Soane’s Museum stays open late the first Tuesday of every month and you can view the historic house museum by candlelight. The queue was monstrous to get in, but the experience was well worth the wait. Soane was an architect who, in 1833, negotiated an Act of Parliament to settle and preserve the house and collection for the benefit of ‘amateurs and students’ in architecture, painting and sculpture. I couldn’t take pictures inside, but here is a link to the museums website.

I visited the show Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World at the British Museum. Gold jewelry with semiprecious stones and numerous ivory pieces were highlights. I came away with a sense of the multiple influences that swept across this region over time.

I spent Sunday at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, which featured 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses. I also stopped in Kew Palace while I was there, which is the smallest of the British royal palaces. It was built by Dutch merchant in around 1631 and later purchased by George III.

Today, I took a hard hat tour of the building project that is currently taking place at Tate Britain. I hadn’t seen the space before the renovation started, but I was able to get a sense of what the new spaces will look like – spacious and bright with traditional detailing.

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