It’s taken me a few days to find the time to write-up my latest expedition to the Saatchi Gallery in London, to check out some new contemporary art over the August bank holiday weekend. There were quite a few eye-catching works in the latest exhibition, The Shape of Things To Come: New Sculpture, but my personal favourite was the neon fluorescent light boxes of David Batchelor exploring Chromophobia.
As I have mentioned before, I have a growing obsession with Neon. It’s bright sordidness draws you in and makes you feel good, which is why its used so much in casinos, funfairs and other night-time pursuits. Neon obsessive Tracey Emin mentions in this Guardian article, it is is a difficult and dying craft, with all the glass hand blown. I also love found objects and the stories attached to them. Or can be attached to them. Particularly if the object is tiny and would fit in my printers drawer. I am a Magpie.
The work of David Batchelor combines both of my loves. As you go up to the top floor and peer round the corner to spy on the 2003 work Brick Lane Remix 1, the bright flourescent rectangles draw you in. The light boxes are made from found materials from domestic or family settings. They echo an eerie familiarity, and keep you as transfixed as the wires entangle the the boxes. In the same room is Parapillar 7, a column made from feather dusters, fly swatters, toilet brushes and other plastic found objects Similar pillars to these have been exhibited in the Tate and at the Edinburgh Festival, sticking to the same tonal range they transform tat into vivid vision of colour. This meditation of colour is what Bachelor explores in his book chromophobia, challenging our social constructs of what colour should be. You can watch Batchelor talking about his work in a lecture at the Tate online.
So kids, if you want to make me happy, find me something Neon. The exhibition runs until the 16th of October, and is free.