diamond geezer

 Sunday, March 13, 2011

uʍop ǝpısdn plɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ƃuıuɹn┴
(please imagine that I'm writing this review six months ago, and not on the installation's last day)

Four of Anish Kapoor's warped mirrors, plonked in the middle of a famous London park. That's art that is. And a lot of fun. Each attracts curious spectators, jostling for position and peering into the reflected image. And each day is different, as the clouds come and go and the sky lightens and fades. I'd been meaning to go on a bright sunny day, but winter's weekends conspired against me. I finally ventured to Kensington Gardens yesterday, but arrived just as the morning's blue sky was being unceremoniously shunted over the horizon by a curtain of white. Never mind - these distortions merit playful investigation whatever the weather.

Kapoor in Kensington
Kensington Gardens: 28 September 2010 – 13 March 2011

Sky Mirror: This is the big one, 10 metres in diameter, plonked down on a lawn beside the Long Water. It's well travelled too, having reflected the sky in such diverse locations as New York and Nottingham. Pick the right day and the mirrored steel reflects a bowl of azure fluffiness - the intimate detail's all heaven-sent. The waterside setting adds to the visual drama, at least viewed from the convex side. The concave obverse is more intimate, reflecting a patch of badly re-turfed grass and a bed of daffodils. It's a shame that the mirror will be removed before more than a handful of the springtime flowers have opened.
Photos: mine, GanMed's, Stuart-Lee's, jadiela's, Martin-James's

Non-Object (Spire): Here's one of Anish's trademark horns, rising from the grass to an upturned point. Think of a Cluedo playing piece in shiny silver, or the bell of a giant metallic flower. It's been cunningly designed so that the tip reflects in the surrounding skirt, which your senses tell you should be impossible but clearly isn't. It's the surrounding trees which bring this surface to life with thin bare branches, which look almost like black veins on a robot's leg. Come on, this is art, I can think what I like.
Photos: mine, jadiela's, Simon's, failing angel's

Sky Mirror, Red: Having hit on a winning construction, Kapoor adds a new twist by colouring it red. Smaller than its silver counterpart, this mirror has been placed in the shallow waters of the Round Pond. Pick the right weather and it reflects crimson clouds. Pick an overcast day and it's nothing but a ruby dish with ducks sheltering beneath.
Photos: mine, stradders's, David's, Arianna's, James's

C-Curve: Like those distorting mirrors in fairground, this one's the true visual attraction. The outside of the curve's interesting enough, but it's the inside which has spectators lining up to stare at themselves. Courtesy of the laws of optics, Anish has somehow conspired to flip his panorama so that the audience appears to be hanging upside-down. Try to deduce which of the reflected line-up is you, but inverted. Watch as dogs scuttle by like spiders on the ceiling. All this plus an impossible background of green-grass sky and tree-branch roots. Like the rest of Kapoor's quartet, our senses our being toyed with and our perceptions challenged. Nip down before dusk tonight, bring your camera, and pray for sunshine.
Photos: mine, Ian's, Keith's, Pat's, Neil's

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