I like it when you experience things that you had no idea were going to happen. I had no intention of going to Leeds Art Gallery today, infact I’ve not been in for a little while as to be honest I often find it disappointing. I’ve been critical in the past of the city, in my view, failing to punch it’s weight when it comes to art but today it certainly lived up to the mark. I ended up in the gallery as my original plans for the afternoon fell through and things turned interesting from the moment I walked through the door as I was drawn away from walking straight in to a flickering light off to my right from a video installation. The fact that I had turned right meant that I walked around the museum from a different direction which in itself provided a different perspective but also meant that I was completely unprepared for the Nike Savvas exhibition that we then stumbled across.
Fantastically playful pieces highly reminiscent of the designs that I’m sure many of us made with spirographs when we were younger drew me in to gaze in wonder at the mathematical abstract structures that had been created. I could not help but smile when looking at them and was drawn to looking through the holes that had been created which channelled your view and changed the perspective of the piece. There was both a simplicity and complexity that boggled the mind and I could have stood looking at them for ages. (the top half of the photo gallery below is Nike Stavvas and the bottom half some other works we enjoyed in the gallery)
There was a lovely and clever activity for children as well where they were encouraged to take wipeable board and write down the sounds that the art made them think of and then they could record this sound onto a little gizmo and attach the recorder to the board and place it up on the wall. This in itself was great fun going round and pressing the various recordings, a very clever way of involving children in the art and top marks to whoever thought of it.
It was not just the Nike Savvas that we liked going round today, although perhaps Liberty and Anarchy exhibition put us in such a good mood that the playfullness it engendered in us made the rest of the museum more attractive. Who knows but for the time being I withhold any past criticism and strongly recommend you get down there to check it out as the gallery at the moment is chock full of fun, inventive, reflective, challenging and interesting art.