....The Hayward Gallery reopened after a minor face lift with this exhibition from visual artist Ernesto Neto. I got tickets and took Richie for his birthday treat, which included a dip in the specially constructed pool on one of the terraces.
The terrace pool from afar, (hidden behind the 2 orange changing rooms)
Unfortunately no photos were allowed in that area, but as the sun went down, Richie and I had a paddle in the pool all to ourselves, as London buses and life went by. It was slightly surreal having a dip and a natter in that kind of environment - but then perhaps that is exactly what Neto had intended us to feel.
Richie, soon to be donned in his swim shorts
After the paddle, we set about the rest of the exhibition, which all took on an incredibly organic form. Tunnels made from tight-like Lycra, occasionally weighed down by spices or pebbles and all the while encouraging the visitors to interact.
I found it an incredibly satisfying and some what relaxing exhibition. Walking over green Lycra in your bare feet, walking up constructed wooden towers to look over a sea of space-like material was wonderfully enjoyable.
As per previous Hayward exhibitions, Neto was challenged to produce site specific work for each of the three terraces. Alongside the pool and a tree with a walkway around it, was this Meccano-like interlocking organic structure. It is a lovely use of the space and contrast to it's immediate surroundings.
Whilst it is only a small exhibition, (because on the ground floor, a 'New Decor' show takes place), I think it is definitely worth a visit. It plays up to our senses of smell, touch and sight and if only temporarily has the power to take you to a different, calmer place - in stark contrast to the brutalist architecture of the Hayward in which it sits and the rush & push of the surrounding city.