Ernesto Neto at the Hayward Gallery

Seeing this exhibition immediately after the V&A architecture exhibition meant that all my thoughts on it revolved around an assessment of space, structure and form. Again the opportunity to physically experience the work provided a more tactile and holistic experience. 

Structural spines formed pods covered in see-through fabric, with tubes connecting the inner fabric to the exterior, like the pores of an organism. These become spy-holes to the exterior, viewing points, as well as forming the porous shell of the creatures.

Neto describes these sculpture as ‘body/space/landscapes’ (Neto, n.d.), wanting us to have ‘the feeling of getting into the abstract idea of a body, as if you could get inside your own body” (Neto. n.d.). The sculptures seemed like life-size sea creatures but the tubes extending from the interior to the exterior were like vessels or veins, the stretched sheer fabric like skin and the structural spines like bones.

The essence of retreat and refuge continued in these organic urchin-like forms as the light permeated through the sheer fabric infusing the interior with a soft, meditative light. The repeating and interconnecting pods extended throughout the gallery, so you could sit in your private cocoon and view through to others; the colours of the fabric changing through the space, overlapping to create transient colours that constantly shifted in hue and tone. There are forms within forms and sculptural spaces existing within as well as around the pods.

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Photos taken 2nd July 2010

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