Making Sense of Art and Seeing for myself

By Phil Saunders

SEED’s Go See road trip to see Ai Wei Wei’s Making Sense exhibition in London was a real pleasure. On the day, we were picked up by our lovely driver in Axbridge and whisked through some terrible local weather to sunny Kensington. We were dropped near the Design Museum in time for a stroll through Holland Park and Sunday Lunch in a local pub. We were certainly well fed and watered by the time our exhibition viewing began.

This was a trip I probably wouldn’t otherwise have made, without SEED ensuring it was an enjoyable, social event with just the right amount of “education”.

Looking back, I was glad to able to compare my own thoughts about the work with those of the guide and the group. At times, contemporary art can seem obscure and rather daunting. Our visit to Ai Wei Wei’s excellent exhibition showed how accessible it can be.

A series of colourful images shown in a gallery

A guide who worked for the museum met up with us in the foyer. He said his talk would be aimed at people who were enthusiastic about contemporary art but were not experts. This was about right for the group, as most of us had some knowledge of Ai Wei Wei, his better known works (such as the Olympic “Birds Nest” Stadium) and his run ins with the Chinese authorities. I had come across his work once before, in the grandiose setting of Blenheim Palace of all places, so it was great to see it in the setting of a purpose built gallery.

The Design Museum had allocated one huge room to the exhibition. This was impressive, as you could see works of several different kinds by just turning around and looking. The guide explained how similar themes ran through the huge ceramic installations on the floor, the sculptures, the wall paintings and the photographs. We learned about Ai Wei Wei’s life, his artistic practice and his political activism.

Go See for yourself

Seed’s next ‘Go See’ Trip will be to Bristol to see renowned modern day blues guitarist Ariel Posen. One music lovers will not want to miss.