Sunday, 19 October 2008

I heart you, nara!

(photo above pinched from Rebecca at Angry Chicken blog, cuz my camera isn't digital, so it'll be an age before I process my own photos.)

I hopped on the train today up to Newcastle to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art to see the Yoshitomo Nara A-Z Project there.

The train broke down for over an hour on the way (air was leaking from the brakes... apparently this isn't as scary as it sounds...) so I was hella late arriving so ran (okay, for those that know me, this isn't strictly the truth, I didn't technically run, but you get the picture!) to Baltic before it closed (both the gallery for the day, and the Nara exhibition, which ends next weekend - so if you wanna go, be quick!)

I was pleased I'd made the effort though, as despite only having an hour to explore, the exhibition was wonderous.

The exhibition was situated within a constructed 'village' of wooden huts, all accessibe via wooden ramps and walkways connecting them. Each house/hut required you to bob under tiny wooden doorframes and small entrance porches and tunnels, like a wonderful children's adventure park.

Inside the houses, Nara's art had been exhibited alongside oodles of tiny plush and fluffy toys, nick-nacks, and remnants of the artists studio; making it all feel so homely and real, and like you were peaking into the world and life of Nara and his wonderfully charming mind.

The artworks inside could also be seen by peering through the windows of the huts from outside them, like a special game of peeping tom, all wonderfully lit and placed in order to catch a glimpse of his work and the paintings' eyes and faces through every higgledy-piggledy window frame.

It really was magical, and so wonderful to see Nara's work up close.
Especially these two:

It was really special too to see the faces of people as they exited each of the huts, with looks of joy and wonder on their faces.

A very special day for me, as I've loved Yoshitomo Nara's work for quite some time now.

(the photos here don't quite do the experience justice, if you get to go before the exhibition closes on Oct 26th, do do do!)

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