Review – ‘A place that only exists in moonlight’

My article is a review about the current exhibition on at the Turner centre.

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These articles were written and submitted by young people across Kent, between August 2016 and July 2019. We are no longer adding new articles or maintaining old ones. Read more about Art31.

My journey around the Turner Contemporary so far has been an over whelming and fascinating experience. The exhibitions presented here are truly magical and remarkable; the exhibition currently on ‘A place that only exists in moonlight’ has really taken me to another dimension. These pieces of art unlock the stereotype that we as a society have on what lurks beyond our knowledge. Space, time and galaxies are something that only our most privileged scientists have experienced with their bare eye, however I feel Katie Paterson’s work has given us all the advantage to experience this through her creations. Katie’s key theme of this exhibition is to be where no artist has been before. There are many pieces of work which are scientifically correct, yet her pieces are more of an elegant and relaxed version. By using well know objects and equipment to represent star correlation and how the turning of the world happens allows her audience range to become wider. It creates an ease to the people viewing the pieces and creates a sense of relation and better understanding of the meanings behind the work. The Light Correlation displayed through fairy lights is a unique and clever way to portray this. There are no boarder lines or any bombarding essay attached, it’s a beautiful and deep piece which can be portrayed in many ways. The main delight about this exhibition is how well and smoothly it links to the work of J.M.W Turner. The paintings and meanings behind every single piece show’s such thought and common grounds between the artists. The paintings of the galaxies are used with materials and done in styles to link to Turner. I see this act as an inspiration and a type of curtesy towards Turner; the adding of Katie’s ideas scattered around Turners classical water paintings shows respect and how magical (just like the exhibition) of just how beautifully their work flows together. The West Gallery is filled with theories, lights, shades and colours. The cosmic spectrum is placed within that room where the colours of how the universe is and what it will be is there. It spins and rotates which compliments the colours hugely and the spinning motion also links in nicely with the fact of how the colours change over time, just like the spin represents the period of time slowly going. The theories of the moon displayed as light bulbs, which are also accommodated in the West Gallery, ensemble a remarkable and comforting piece. There are two pieces that are similar to each other. First of all there is a circular room with a dim yet powerful bulb placed within the centre. This is to replicate as being the moon and the shine spraying off the bulb to imitate the shadow and type of lighting the moon has. Yet closely near this abstract is the wall piece Katie has done of many light bulbs representing how many full moons an average person will encounter within their living life.
Following on from the West Gallery is the South Gallery, which is also filled with mind boggling equipment. This is the work pieces of the stars and the survival of them. There are multiple creations which show the stars activities and all of these are displayed in a unique and special way. There are uses of common objects we are all familiar with, however in the centre of this Gallery space is a replacer meteor which Katie Paterson has melted and reformed herself. She got other materials and has melted down to then reforms it. She has used a wide variety of different materials to display these makings, which just shows how intelligent and creative Katie is as an artist. The use of using a real life meteor to become a piece of art is truly a creation no artist has been before. Every section of her work has such depth within and such creativity; this is why the Turner is pleased to display her work.

Within the North Gallery, there are many beautiful sights and sounds within this room. There is a self-playing piano, which collab’s perfectly with the spinning disco ball which represents the eclipses that happen throughout our lifetime. The melody that flows whilst starring at the hanging glowing ball realises a calm and warming feeling, which will make you want to be present in this vison for eternity. The lights that shine off the ball lights up the room like the stars on a dark night, it really allows us to see the resemblance it has to our real night sky.
The main message Katie is trying to address to her audience is different and special to every individual. The more I learnt about her work and the reasoning behind it was what really intrigued me more. My initial thoughts of the pieces of work was how stunning and classy they are, they release the mood of calmness and express a very peaceful vibe. Yet with further investigating you discover a whole new significance. She has put a creative spin on the confusing reality some of us cannot come to grips with. The depth, detail and time that has been perused into her work are really extraordinary. The care and the thought for every individual section really reflects the artist as an individual. It allows you to explore her journey with her however to be able to make your own assumptions and views on every piece.
My opinion on this current exhibition is a positive and passionate one as I have had the time and opportunity to explore and interact with all her work. I have had first-hand experienced of how her work has an impact on you as an individual and how her work can really inspire and impact me as a young artist. I felt at ease with her work and found that the placement of the designs worked really well and allowed me to really enter another dimension. The features of each segment have such personality and such relevance and reason to her whole exhibition.
I would hugely recommend this exhibition to anyone who wants to learn more about the ‘beyond’ yet in a creative approach. I would also recommend this to any schools wanting to teach art or science in a fun and impacting way, which will be an exciting and more elaborating. It is incredibly fascinating and could appeal to a lot more people than originally thought. I also believe that scientists or anybody with an interest in any type of astronomy or physics, this would be such an amazing experience for you due to the fact it’s out of the box however every piece is filled with facts, beauty and imagination.

Marnie Evans

Guest Contributor

I am passionate about art and everything about it. I enjoy gallery's and museums associated with art and designs, they are fascinating and inspiring to me as a young artist. I love music and frequently attend concerts with my friends whom I spend most of my time with on the weekends. I attend sixth form and am studying double art and business. I love fashion and things which are quirky, everything that's unique really amazes me.