Friday, July 24, 2009

Serpentine Pavilion and other nice and shiny and irresistible objects…

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London Serpentine gallery has a wonderful annual project: every summer they put up a pavilion in their front yard for everybody to enjoy for free. Those pavilions have been designed by world famous architects like Oscar Niemeyer, Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas etc. When the summer is over the pavilions will be auctioned off to some architecture-loving millionaires, who probably will set them up in their own back yards…

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This year’s pavilion is designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of leading Japanese architectural practice SANAA. It is like a giant shiny futuristic silver tongue that’s licking the grassy area in front of the historic Serpentine Gallery building, creating an exciting contrast of materials, eras and aesthetics.

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The structure is very simple, but as the roof lowers and rises- and grows in different directions it makes you want to run around in childish exhilaration and experience it from all different angles- which is exactly what I did when I went to see it. The roof is shiny and mirrored on top and underneath so when you are under it, you will see the reflections of grass and trees above you.

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Kathleen Anderson has taken this great picture of the Koons Poodle in Venice. Pic via her Flickr site.

There’s something about highly polished shiny reflective surfaces that are absolutely irresistible to me. Like Jeff Koons Bunny or Poodle which I adore. Buy the way- when you go to see the Serpentine Pavilion, pop into the Serpentine Gallery too. It’s hosting a Jeff Koons exhibition until September. No shiny Bunnies or Poodles this time, but some fantastic colourful paintings of Popeye and blow-up lobsters… worth checking out!

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Shiny objects look especially good when they are next to something completely different and contrasting. Like a pile of hay and bunch of chickens. I have an architecture book (Home. Twentieth- Century House by Dejan Sudjic ) with a picture of a scene exactly like that. It is an old farm in Austria, near Vienna with a futuristic extension and shiny aluminium staircase. The complex was designed by Artec Architects. I wonder what the chickens think of it? Probably something like: “ Oh a UFO landed in our yard. Where’s that tasty worm I just found…” Don’t think they really appreciate that large shiny object.

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On the other hand- I appreciate a modern shiny object anytime!

In my inspiration folder there are some pics I took of Birmingham's Selfridges. This building must be one of my favourites. It’s designed by architecture bureau Future Systems, famous for their futuristic vision.

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Its worth travelling up to Birmingham just to see that wonderful vision of a vast expanse of silver discs. And then return to wherever you came from- completely happy and a pleasantly bewildered from this out-of–this world experience.

shiny balls

At the moment my jewellery making boxes contain a lot of large and shiny metallic balls.

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anu jewellery

So far I have been using those shiny balls with restraint, mixing them with more rustic elements in my Tribe jewellery collection.

But deep inside me there is a wish to use them with much more exuberance! To make a HUGE necklace of shiny balls of all sizes- like bunch of Christmas decorations!

christmas decorations

Talking about Christmas decorations- they are shiny objects too and of course I absolutely love them. It’s always a sad moment when you have to put them away in a box for a whole year. I have a set of old Soviet children’s Christmas tree decorations- which includes a tiny cosmonaut, a snow-woman (not a snowman!), a squirrel, a cob of corn and several other bits and pieces. It’s my little treasure. I’m sure it inspires me somehow. Do not know how exactly … :-)