Saturday, 2 January 2016

Sculpture in the Park

Frieze Sculpture in the Park - extended until Sunday 10 January

The English Gardens (St Andrew's Place entrance, nearest tube Great Portland Street)

The park trees are still winter bare but every lengthening day brings the light that brings them to life again. Scattered among them in this south eastern section of The Regent's Park are sculptures by, at the time of viewing, Richard Serra, Carol Bove, Conrad Shawcross, Kathleen Ryan, Tony Cragg, William Turnbull, Takis, Dominique Stroobant, Haroon Mirza, Gary Webb, Aaron Angel, Jesse Wine, Leo Fitzmaurice and Seung-taek Lee.

In a very real way these works show the trees as what they really are: beautiful living sculptures. Later in the year the trees will bear the solar arrays (AKA leaves) by which we breathe. I cannot put their importance better than Royal Parks themselves do in their website note on trees

Some of the sculptures too reference trees, breathing gases, and the sun's energy - for example, Mirza's solar-powered light and sound piece and Shawcross's tetrahedral tree-like form, Seung-taek's inflatable earth. Other works use steel, stone or plastic to offer a contrast to the deliberately natural surroundings of the park. Ryan's 'oversized snake ring' uses polished concrete. It's a beautiful piece, the texture as lustrous as stone.

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