So I confess I went along to the recent Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Royal Academy a bit dutifully. And loved it – if ‘loved’ is the right word for such a confronting experience. I loved the way the artist re-crafted ancient furniture into flying sculpture, transformed the hand cuffs of his captors into coveted jade artefacts and straightened thousands of twisted steel rebars from the shoddily built, earthquake- ruined schools of Sichuan into an undulating meditation. But most of all I love the look in his eye as he is photographed dropping a priceless Han Dynasty Urn in 1995. Kind and fierce at the same time. Defiant and merry. Forces you to think about this and all the other objects we so covet. Worthless or priceless? Do we want to catch the treasure in mid flight or let it smash into satisfying smithereens?
“Creativity is the power to act” says Ai Weiwei. I love that, too.
Inspired, my wife and I headed out into the back garden to photograph our own mini act of creativity to bring 2015 to an end. We didn’t have an invaluable vase to hand, but Jo kindly sacrificed a mug she’s just made in her first term as a ceramics student at Central St. Martins. So, priceless in its way. But apparently not dishwasher proof. And a tiny bit leaky.
Thanks for reading the blog. And do stay touch in 2016.
Wei wish you a merry Christmas – or whatever festival you celebrate at this time – and a smashing New Year.