Thursday, 24 January 2013

Rebirth at the RA

I don't much like the dull grey mornings we've had recently, so the snow is most welcome as it lights everything up. 

Looking out over the garden gate,
. . . checking the girls before I shoot off, Elvis sensibly under shelter,

and our village winterbourne looking its best!

I was on my way to the train station, and on the journey into London I was surprised to discover that the countryside all the way from wild Wiltshire through to inner London had a covering of snow.

While in town I took the chance to visit the RA, Burlington Gardens and see the Mariko Mori exhibition Rebirth. It was wonderful, quite meditative and very beautiful, some pieces holding an echo of James Turrell.

Mori's research has taken her to prehistoric Jomon sites in Japan where stone circles exist from 2000 to 1000 BC and in common with the stone circles we have in the UK there's a great deal of mystery surrounding them. 

Often there is an alignment with the rising or the setting of the Sun (or Moon), hence their association with the solstice, and this exhibition was timed to coincide with last Decembers winter solstice. Which according to ancient calendars will mark either the end of the world or the birth of a new era. 

The exhibition begins with one of Mori's best-known pieces, Tom Na H-iu II, in the form of a large light monolith of glass and steel. A standing stone no less.

The lights within Tom Na H-iu are connected to a computer at the Institute of Cosmic Ray Research at the University of Tokyo. As the centre detects the particles, or neutrinos, arising from radioactive decay in the atmosphere so the lights within the monolith flash and fade and change colour depending on what sort of particle is being detected.
luminous version of Avebury . . .
returning home in time to take a small dog for a walk.

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