Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Walk in sculpture aims to combat SAD

copyright James Yamada, courtesy of Parasol unit foundation
London-based foundation for contemporary art Parasol unit have recently unveiled the first in a series of new outdoor artworks by international artists called Parasolstice - Winter Light. 
The works will be exhibited throughout the winter months in the foundation’s outdoor space at Wharf Road, London, which will be open to the public free of charge. 

The first work, The summer shelter retreats darkly among the trees by American artist James Yamada, was launched on 22 November 2011 and will be open Tuesday - Sunday until 18 March 2012. 
The aluminium structure of Yamada’s installation shelters visitors from bad weather, and integrated into its rooftop are light elements at 10,000 lux, which is the sunlight-mimicking intensity referred to as ‘full spectrum light’. This is the light commonly used in light therapy to treat the symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). During the darkest months of the year, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the benefits of exposure to bright light.

James Yamada has forged a reputation for making ingenious constructions that create encounters between nature and technology. In The summer shelter retreats darkly among the trees the artist highlights how recent technology benefits mankind by helping to prevent illness.
Interesting project - even more intriguing is that Parasol unit are sponsored by Japan Tobacco International....

Hell's bells

 Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images Europe
Well hullo everybody, I have been neglecting this blog of late, haven't I? Time for some updating.

Conceptual artist Martin Creed's project for the London 2012 Festival, www.allthebells.com,
has been ruffling campanologist feathers.

The project is called Work No.1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes, and will take place at 8am on Friday 27 July 2012 - the first day of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The artwork has been specially commissioned for the Festival, and will form the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad.

The project website encourages the ringing of 'hand bells, door bells, bicycle bells, church bells, town hall bells, sleigh bells, cow bells, school bells, last orders bells, dinner bells....where there is a bell, we need someone to ring it!'

However, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has objected to the project via their president Kate Flavell, who wrote (slightly tersely) on her blog:
  • We are not able to work closely with this project as we believe it is misconceived and we were invited to become involved in its design too late to be able to help make it more workable for ringers.
  • We think 8 am is not the right time for ringing in very many towers and for very many ringers, although it is an improvement on the 4 am time they originally suggested, to mark the flame arriving in the UK.
  • We do not believe ringing for three minutes nor ringing as fast as possible is really suitable for church bell ringers.
To read the full blog entry, visit: http://www.cccbr.org.uk/council/blog/

What a shame that the CCCBR are pooh-poohing such an exciting, celebratory and inclusive project. Ok from a campanology point of view it might not be technically the right way of ringing bells, but so what?! Can't they just go with it and let themselves go crazy just this once?

There is a fantastically awkward video of the artist talking about the project here:

Hope everyone else will get ringing - visit www.allthebells.com if you want to take part.