After spending time at the Frieze London, it’s inviting to take a walk in the park and see the adjoining Frieze Sculpture Park. It’s a special time to be in London as the leaves begin to turn color and start to fall. However, even in early October, the background which frames the sculptural exhibits is overwhelmingly green creating a striking contrast with the works you discover around every corner. It is a unique environment in which you connect with nature, the artists and their works.
The Frieze curators have clearly thought about how the outdoor exhibition flows. Clare Lilley, Director of Programme from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park applied her expertise to make this Regent’s Park experience work so well. There is logic and structure to the placement of the sculptures and they all seem to sit comfortably in their natural environment encouraging you to take them in from every angle. There is a handy map too so you can plan what you want to see or opt instead to wander around taking as much time as you like to see what catches the eye.
I had to smile when I saw the Tom Sachs creation “My Melody” featuring the iconic Japanese cartoon character.
The artist has taken an image usually associated with mass production, uniformity and disposability and teased out some imperfections to enhance the immediacy of the encounter with this grinning figure.
Bill Woodrow’s “Celloswarm” coats a cello with a swarm of bees. Bees, a hot topic these days to which he raises awareness with this art work.
Of course, this renders the instrument beneath useless but instead gives it an alternative form and a different feeling of movement and activity.
When I first looked at “Cloud Study (Partner Dance) I wondered what artist Charlie Godet Thomas was getting at. Two weather vanes move as if in the ballroom but bear messages hinting on thoughts beyond the surface.
One says “My luck’s changed” while the other makes the optimistic comment that “A little rain never hurt anyone”. You can view it either way. It’s all about perspective.
Of course, sculpture can have the power to make the viewer consider life itself. That’s what Robert Indiana achieves with his “ONE Through ZERO, 1980-2002” where giant weathered numbers remind the viewer of the lifecycle from birth, through adolescence, maturity and the ultimate fate.