Review: Champagne Life (EXHIBITION)


Review: Champagne Life (EXHIBITION)

A little quick note about Champagne Life the current exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. Practical information first: the gift shop is great. It ends 9th March 2016. It is a completely female show with the works of 14 artists. One of the first of its kind.

(Surprisingly perhaps? Something that I feel should have happened already, and possibly doesn’t need as much hype as its received in terms of the gender of the artists, as at times, it can feel a little patronising.)

In any case, the overall exhibition was enjoyable, with a large mix of disciplines and a variety of practices on show. I’m not going to go into detail about the exhibition, except that it’s worth a wonder around if you have a free afternoon. (This venue, as always is free – so you loose nothing.)

Before I go, just want to talk about the piece pictured above. This is a close up from Maha Malluh’s work, (Untitled, Food for Thought Series) 2016. For me, this piece was above and beyond the rest. Visually, it is very striking and it’s position in the gallery really led you into the room. Once you were in, and got to actually inspect what you were faced with, you saw that these were pots. 233 individual, used, cooking pots. Some were massive that could have fed a family of 10. Others were smaller, and perhaps fed 3. There’s always something very powerful about experiencing something en masse. And here was no exception. The artist is from Saudi Arabia, and there was something that was really lovely about appropriating her culture into her work that wasn’t overt or overtook the message. There’s a lovely piece of maths that was written in an article by The Guardian which you can read here.

Rachel Cooke writes:
“In front of me were 233 such pots. If each one had once belonged to a family of five, who ate together perhaps once a day for a year, then this display represented the cooking of 425,225 meals – at which point these dented vessels seemed to take on the lustre of priceless objects.”

There was something quite mesmerising about this work, that I’m finding quite hard to articulate (which is very helpful for you.) But, if you’re unable to go and see the work yourself, then give it a google and have a stare. I think it’s really worth a couple of moments of your time.

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