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  • Charlotte Chapple

Serendipity – A visit to Tate Liverpool

Serendipity – A visit to Tate Liverpool

Constellations: Highlights from the Nation’s Collection of Modern Art.

Getting out and exploring other forms of art, other than photography, has been something I have enjoyed in recent years. I find visiting art galleries and various exhibitions very interesting and love trying to find inspiration in this to inform my photographic work.

The summer break from University is an ideal time for me to get out and explore as many galleries and exhibitions as I can. One exhibition that I stumbled across whilst in Liverpool for the day with my parents was the Constellations exhibition held at the Tate. As we had a bit of time before we had to head back home my parents and I decided to pay a visit and have a look around the exhibition. And am I glad we did! Whilst the exhibition only covered one floor of the Tate (preparations for the next exhibition closed the other floors), it was filled with many interesting and unique piece of art.

Some of my personal favourite work that was exhibited includes two photos taken by Charles Ray, he is also the subject of the images. The two monochrome images entitled Plank Piece I-II are paper on board, displayed side by side in metal frames behind glass. What initially caught my attention with these two images is who the subject is suspended against a wall by a single plank of wood. I found these images appealing, as they are both humorous and unsettling and I found how the photographer managed to get himself into such a complex position and also take the photos themselves very intriguing.

Another photography piece that I was drawn to in the exhibition was a self-portrait image of Andy Warhol entitled Self-Portrait. The image appears to be printed on some form of canvas which is split into two parts, one thinner solid black piece and a square piece with Warhol’s face right in the centre.What I really like about this piece is the combination of highlights and shadows. The side portrait shot captured my attention as the subjects face stands out from the black background as Warhol’s forehead, nose, lips and chin are outlined in a bright highlight which fades into darker shadows around his eye, mid tone shadows around his cheek and then darker shadows fade his hair into the solid black background. I find this piece very intriguing and visually appealing as I am drawn to how Warhol has used highlights and shadows to define his facial features.

Michelangelo Pistoletto’s sculptural work entitled Venus of the Ragsis the piece of work that I felt most drawn to in the entire exhibition. The work combines marble and textiles to depict a Roman goddess seemingly propping up and battling against a pile of clothes. I find this piece very humorous and somewhat relatable; it reminds me of battling my piles of laundry when returning from university! I also find the contrast of the pale marble and vibrant colour combinations of the clothes very visually appealing and the whole aesthetic makes the work easy to look at and understand.

I found this exhibition as a whole very interesting and appealing and am glad my parents and I decided to pay it a visit. Over the coming summer I hope to get out and visit a few more exhibitions and galleries and immerse myself in what is truly an inspiring industry of creative arts.

I highly recommend any other students of art, photography (or any other creative courses for that matter) to try and find time to visit a gallery or exhibition too as you never know where you will find inspiration!

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