on the 30th

December 31, 2010

On the 30th December  in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. A day of reflection and memories for one part of the family. I normally take myself off to a gallery or for along walk alone, or both, on my birthday. It isn’t my birthday but a death day and I decide to look at art and have a solitary walk anyway. This space is a good space and a good space for art. I enjoyed the Munoz here and the Louise Bourgeois pieces so, gazing down at the Sunflower Seeds, what are my thoughts? I appreciate that all the hundreds and thousands of seeds are individually made as a true crafts person would strive to fabricate but, as an installation, I couldn’t make the connection.  Art above craft or art alongside craft or whatever . . .  maybe the setting and the work were not best matched.  From above, I struggled to see it any differently than a piece of carpet laid out in a carpet showroom. Close to, it’s a magnificent production but, for me, bland. The Turbine Hall is certainly not bland and as daylight dims the interior lighting comes into its own.

Now to Gauguin, Maker of Myth, and a treat!  ‘Soyez mysterieuse’ and revel in composition, pattern, fabric, colour of course, and mood and titles. Lovely titles that pose a question . . . and underline the narrative so well. A coming together of the musical and the literary with the simplest of message following, I assume, a long and complex layered process. Below,  ‘The Bathers’   . . .

. . and above,  ‘Nevermore O Tahiti’

Following a sisterly chat, we part with one of us taking the wobbly bridge and the other a stroll to London Bridge. The birches look their best at night and St Paul’s and the City quite beautiful this evening too.

Rather Turneresque . . . no, more like Rembrandt, I’m told!

. . . and the Shard may be as strong a landmark as St Paul’s when it’s complete. Tonight it’s lost in the mist. The poem too is weaving in and out of my consciousness – relationships and missing the chance to say what is meaningful. Don’t be too mysterieuse before it’s too late!

I have shown myself to you

Only as drift and you have presumed

To deduce me from this.

 I routinely descend

Into abysmal depths,

am far from land, secretive,

 But where do you know of my breach,

how the lightless world

bursts off me –

how I can feed on this

for thousands of miles,

the routine weight of air crushing

the sea’s surface suddenly

gone, suddenly

an opening into which I pour.     Helen Parish     Mesoplodon Pacificus

One Response to “on the 30th”

  1. Cloudier Says:

    St Paul’s beats sunflower seeds any day or night. I like naughty Gauguin’s colourful pieces in there, mixing things up.

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