I’m delighted that Londoners are keen to see art exhibitions but it does mean getting tickets is a pain. The Hayward’s current exhibition, Light Show, is sold out almost every day, so tickets have to be booked in advance. It also means that when you do finally get inside you have to contend with hundreds of other visitors to see each work clearly.
Light Show explores the experiential and phenomenal aspects of light by bringing together sculptures and installations that use light to sculpt and shape space in different ways. The exhibition showcases artworks created from the 1960s to the present day, including immersive environments, free-standing light sculptures and projections. You see atmospheric installations and intangible sculptures, some that you can move around or even through. Visitors can experience light in all of its spatial and sensory forms. Individual artworks explore different aspects of light such as colour, duration, intensity and projection, as well as perceptual phenomena. They also use light to address architecture, science and film employing a variety of technologies.
Some pieces are rare not seen for decades and others have been created specially for the Hayward Gallery. It is amazing to experience and understand how light can stimulate our minds and alter our mood. I found some very beautiful and others quite disturbing, but all of them use light in innovative and creative ways that make you think.
Light Show features work by 22 artists including David Batchelor, Jim Campbell, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Bill Culbert, Olafur Eliasson, Fischli and Weiss, Dan Flavin, Ceal Floyer, Nancy Holt, Jenny Holzer, Ann Veronica Janssens, Brigitte Kowanz, Anthony McCall, François Morellet, Iván Navarro, Philippe Parreno, Katie Paterson, Conrad Shawcross, James Turrell, Leo Villareal, Doug Wheeler and Cerith Wyn Evans. Be warned that some installations in the exhibition contain artificial mist, flashing or strobe lighting, and others are sure to give you a headache if you watch for too long. I felt like I was entering another universe at times, the ethereal and glittering works certainly disorientate and surprise.
I was most stunned by Conrad Shawcross’ Slow Arc Inside a Cube IV made in 2009. This beautiful structural cage is very simple but with the gently moving light creates a complex game of ever-changing shadow and illumination, it is quite mesmerising. I also really enjoyed the special light filled rooms which feel completely immersive and are great fun to explore.
On the way out, the shop stocks examples of fabulous light objects and furniture. I fell in love with the romantic neon letters by Seletti. Buy your own individual letters for £35 each and make up any word (or work of art) you desire.
Continues until 28th April, book here.