On each visit to the V&A, I find myself growing ever fonder of the new garden space. It was being transformed back in 2005, around the time I was sorting all the tiny stones for the ‘Order’ installation. As a continuous line of builders carried individual lumps of rock past my window, I wondered how it could ever be finished. But only weeks later, basking in the warmth of a summer evening breeze, we enjoyed the gentle splash of fountains and soft light highlighting each arched alcove of the museum’s architecture. Beautiful. Dark autumn/winter days are a different matter. It’s no longer pleasurable (or even possible) to take an al fresco break with a coffee. Yet so many of us have ventured out in these darkest of dark days – attracted like moths to the textural light and pulsing sound of ‘Volume’, the current temporary installation. An ever changing, totally engaging work; I can feel myself being drawn to it and into it, becoming totally enveloped in the vitalising, mesmerising, digital light and rhythmic sounds. Particularly intriguing is the relationship of the human figure to this technological canvas. In the inky blackness of the night, the dark silhouettes of people are seen as negative cut outs amid the continually re-ordering fields of colour and tone. We become black ghosts ‐ voids. Since making the 6m of ‘Order’, thoughts have expanded to the idea of something much bigger – a piece to walk into and through. Imagine thousands, THOUSANDS of tiny stones ordered and organised with structure, interval, repetition and space so that they become visually dominant and render the viewer smaller, less significant than themselves. It can take something external to feed the internal idea and set it growing again. I guess this is called inspiration. Volume is designed and made by united visual artists and one point six and I write about it now because it’s due to finish in a week or so. If you haven’t seen it ‐ and are able to ‐ go. It’s fabulous!
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