Finally, I managed to find someone who was happy to visit the Saatchi Gallery with me! From trying to organise a trip there, I’ve discovered that none of my friends really like art that much, and when I mentioned it to Ben, I was met with the response that he would be busy on whichever day I picked to go there!
In a strange and unexpected turn of events, my Canadian uncle Paul found himself with a free day in London, so I managed to wangle a trip there by using his inexperience of London to my advantage, and persuading him that the Saatchi Gallery was the best place to go to in the whole of London. Yippee!
The Saatchi Gallery is just off the Kings Road in Chelsea, and admission is free. Our visit was very impromptu, so as I didn’t look up what the current exhibits were, I knew whatever we saw would be a surprise.
The Saatchi Gallery is in a beautiful listed Georgian building, which makes a striking comparison to the modern art that it displays inside.
We saw various displays of paintings, artworks, and occasionally, sculptures and 3D installations.
The higher up inside the building that we climbed, the more impressive the art became. On the ground floor there were paintings and photographs, and the gallery’s only permanent installation: the ‘20.50’ oil pool.
The pool is an optical illusion, because it reflects the light so clearly that you can’t tell what’s a reflection of the room and what’s real.
Further up, Paul was very impressed by some colourful urns that were constructed from tyres turned inside out and painted.
It was a very good idea, especially if you are looking to recycle some tyres and are in need of some plant pots!
My favourite installations were higher up still, where the computer-generated ‘Flutter of Butterflies’ exhibition was held.
We walked into the exhibit through a black curtain, which protected the darkness and privacy of the black room behind. Here, there were projections and digital creations of flowers and butterflies decorating the walls, which shone and changed colour every few seconds.
The focal point of the room was a digital screen the size of a large canvas. This had an unidentifiable shape on it (Paul thought it was a horse, I thought it was some sort of twisted tree trunk) and it constantly evolved to bloom with flowers, scatter petals, and butterflies would flutter past.
The screen was luminous and mesmerising to watch, and most people in the room had taken a seat along the walls to chill out and appreciate the images and the ambience.
The sound effects in the room added to the experience. There was a gentle twinkling noise which made me think of Disney – because it seemed magical and soothing.
Up close, the screen was bright and the layers on it almost looked like flicks of paint.
Photos don’t even do it justice! It was a whole experience.
The other installation that I loved was a circular ping pong table. I stood on the outside and Paul went in the middle. I think he quite enjoyed hitting the ball to make me run around the outside of the table!
The Saatchi Gallery was really fun, and I’m glad that after wanting to go for so long I’ve finally been! I’d recommend it if you fancy soaking up some culture and modern art in London. It’s a lot smaller and much more immersive than the Tate Modern because of its interactive exhibits.
I think Paul had a blast (or he told me he did!) and I definitely want to go back again in the future!