Turner Contemporary

Right from walking into the beginning of the exhibition you are immersed into some of the key themes and although at first it might be confusing, as you read more into certain artworks, the link between science and art becomes clearer. Katie Paterson personally chose the Turner artworks so that they would fit in with the theme of the universe that she was trying to portray, and compliment the colours in her artwork.

The main theme of the exhibition is to explore the relationship of humans with the universe and what I realised is that throughout the exhibition it is clear that Katie’s artwork combined with Turners really tries hard to get you to think more in depth about certain aspects of the universe; one of these being the repeated concept of time. A particular piece that does this is the string of light bulbs arranged as a constellation which hang from the ceiling. Some bulbs burn brighter than others while some hardly burn at all or have faded out, representing that all planets will eventually fade and die and nothing is permanent.

Katie Paterson’s ‘cosmic spectrum’ is one of the first pieces you see as you enter the exhibition; she worked extensively with scientists to find the main colours that since the big bang represent the universe. She combines these on a spinning spectrum which when spinning creates a latte like colour.

Another piece that I quite liked is her plan of the ‘future library’ where she managed to persuade someone to let her plant one thousand trees which in time will supply the paper for one hundred books to be written by significant people such as Bjork. These books will be kept safe and not allowed to be read until 2114, one hundred years after the project was started. It is a reminder of how short our time is on earth. Hanging in the gallery are the front and back pages of one of the books which will be in this series. Without reading into this some might not appreciate the time and depth that has gone into it, as it is not as aesthetically pleasing as some other artworks in the exhibition but I personally love it.

The atmosphere in the final room of the exhibition was very calming for me. The main piece that lights up the room is a dazzling disco ball which represents 10,000 solar eclipses. This is accompanied by the relaxing music coming from a self-playing piano. The room itself, even without knowing any of the background knowledge, is visually stunning and perfect for all ages.

Overall I loved the exhibition; it creates curiosity and made me think in depth about every single piece. Similarly it amazed me how much detail and time has gone into each piece. I would recommend this exhibition to everyone, old or young. Although for younger children it might be a bit much to wrap their heads around, yet still it is a very fun immersive exhibition.


Posted by: Turner Contemporary on 13 February 2019
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