The Saatchi Gallery near Sloane Square in West London is housed in a former army building - The Duke of York regimental headquarters. Admission is free to all.
Sponsored by the fabulously wealthy Saatchi brothers, the spacious building houses ever changing exhibitions of modern art and photography. Because it is a good distance from London's main tourist hotspots, it seems to enjoy a better degree of tranquility and when Shirley and I visited it on Friday we were pleasantly surprised that the place was not thronging. It was possible to tarry a while and absorb the exhibits without being stressed by crowds. In one or two of the gallery rooms we were sometimes alone.
I like to feel that I am open-minded about modern art. Equally, I am unafraid to call something "rubbish" if that is how it appears to me. Fortunately, on Friday nearly all the artefacts on show seemed to have merit and we enjoyed our peaceful visit.
It was good to walk around Jean-Francois Bocle's "Everything Must Go" (2014) which consists of 97,000 ubiquitous and semi-inflated blue plastic bags. Each bag represents just one of the estimated 97,000 African people who died during transportation to the Americas when the transatlantic slave trade was at its height. Simultaneously, the blue bags also speak critically of plastic pollution in the world's oceans.
|Yamal Peninsula, Russia September 2018 by Yuri Kozyrev|
There was also a marvellous display of photographs from the far north of this planet - showing the effects of global warming and man's intrusion into these wilderness lands. The photographers were Yuri Kozyrev and Kadir van Lohuizen who I am sure are well known to all readers of this blogpost. They were capturing region that is increasingly gripped by change.
I am aware that The Saatchi Gallery has in its possession many notable pieces of modern art by artists such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Rachel Whiteread but this influential and ofttimes controversial work is not displayed permanently. That discovery disappointed me. However, there was enough good Art on display to make us feel that our visit had been very worthwhile. To find out more about The Saatchi Gallery, please visit the website.
|"The Ochre Guitar" by Florence Hutchings (2018)|