Olafur Eliasson at Tate Modern

An interactive exhibition by this Danish-Icelandic artist is full of light and reflections – a mixture of the beauty of the natural world with the science that it is made up of and a universe that we don’t totally understand. Oddly, I had bought a ‘Little Sun’ (renewable energy) at the Design Museum in Copenhagen earlier in the year, unaware that it was conceived by Eliasson as one of his many projects. Eliasson is also keen that people should welcome being part of a community. In his own studio he established a kitchen using local, seasonal, vegetarian ingredients in order to help bring his team together.

On my way to Tate

I walked along the river from Waterloo with plenty of time to explore the river front. Such a glorious mixture of buildings, old and new. The weather was mild – it was good to be out and about.

Blackfriars bridge from the South Bank
Designs for the first Blackfriars bridge

If you have time to stop and stare for a moment, it’s worth a look.

An inviting prospect?

But I had already had breakfast and so I moseyed along the river thinking about the treasures that lay beneath the water in the mud and the mudlarks who patiently search for them. At the moment I’m reading all about this in a fascinating book by Lara Maiklem, unsurprisingly entitled ‘Mudlarking’. It is a BBC Radio 4 ‘Book of the Week’.

Tate Modern

I’ve arrived – the poster for the exhibition is outside and to the left is the Millennium Bridge just touching base on the South Bank. I’m early, I find a bench, sit down and take in my surroundings.

Tate Modern – waterfront

‘Elbow’ skyscraper

There are two men on top of this building. I feel dizzy watching them.

A head for heights!

Not a job I would have the qualifications for …

My companion arrives and we make our way into the world of Olafur Eliasson. Light, mirrors, reflections, ice, fog, moss, multiple images …

Geometry leaking light

We come upon a long passage filled with fog called ‘Den blinden passager’.It is suffused in a yellow light but I can’t see very far in front of my nose. We are encouraged to keep moving forward. I feel disorientated and my balance is wonky but I persevere and begin to become acclimatised. It makes you think – good to be out of one’s comfort zone !

Moving on … touching the void!

Catching quantum physics
‘In the mood’ – a shadow community …
Glacial melt water
Wherever next … into the blue

Colours, light, reflections – all these I am drawn to. I love artists like John Singer Sargent, Joaquín Sorolla, Claude Monet and many of the Impressionists who capture those things in their paintings. I love other artists as much in different ways but I would never choose to live on a planet without light and colours. I don’t expect I would be given a choice but as Jim Al-Khalili moots – your reality may be based on something that doesn’t exist … or at least things we haven’t yet understood. So there’s still room for learning and dreaming. It’s a pity I won’t be able to come back in a hundred years from now. But as it is, the planet has given me enough food for thought in my life to date …

Workshop in spatial experiment

I love this ‘hands on’ room in the final zone where everyone looks completely fascinated by what they are discovering.

And finally, there’s a special treat. The Kitchen team have been set up by ‘Tate Eats’ for us to have a lunch which is similar to the ones made for Eliasson’s team. It is exciting, delicious and wraps up an excellent exhibition. Thank you Olafur Eliasson.

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