The phone call from my friend Kate came at about 5.30 this afternoon. “What are you doing? Have you already left work?”
By chance I HAD already left work, and was on my way home.
It didn’t need much convincing, however, for me to backtrack and to head towards the new Central Park development for two new art exhibitions Kate was asked to open.
The first was in a pop-up arts space on the third floor of the new shopping centre. I think it’s really fantastic they’ve made the space available to artists, and hope they’ll continue to do so, even when they have more tenants.
The exhibition was by Jayanto Daminik who “recycles” teabags, turning them into beautiful works of art.
The second exhibition was at the nearby NG Gallery and featured the works of Bryden Williams, who won a scholarship for a residency at the Red Gate Gallery in Beijing, which Kate has worked at over a number of years.
He also “recycles” things, and spoke tonight of the large recycling centre not far from the Red Gate residency.
His work includes video – a terrific piece where he contrasts beautiful lilyponds in the foreground with industrial construction (very evident in Beijing) in the background – and sculpture.
A particular favourite work was a piece which featured a recycled water bottle. In China, many people rely on bottled water, as there’s a high degree of unreality with the local water supply. Bryden’s work takes a recycle water bottle and combines it with a string of LED lights, creating something completely new, asking you to take a look at the water bottle in a whole new way.
So that late afternoon call, as I made my way home, turned out to be quite a lovely way to spend an hour or two after work on a Tuesday night.