… in London at the Olafur Eliasson exhibition …

When not actually engaged with it every single day, at least contemplating the in-depth editing of ‘Shapers,’ is my daily routine.

This week had a highlight, since I was treated to a day in London by my son. As luck would offer, it was a day with glorious December sunshine, giving sparkle to the fountains in Trafalgar Square. The wind blustered cold though, and I was grateful for the hat I brought along, and the tissues to dry my runny nose and watering eyes.

First call was the famous and wonderful Watkins Bookshop in Cecil Court, where I sold a few old books, including copies of my novel, ‘Course of Mirrors,’ and a few remaining hardback copies of ‘Heart of a Sufi,’ an extraordinary rare book, believe me.

Later we took a boat trip from the Embankment to the Tate Modern Olafur Eliasson  exhibition, which turned out to be a deeply touching and immersive experience. The Danish-Icelandic artist Olaf Eliasson challenges habitual modes of perception. His passion for nature, space, light, renewable energy, reflective metals and geometry has drawn together a devoted team of collaborators. The art projects stimulate poignant debates about our environment and our communities through visual and sensual installations, sculptures, photographs and paintings.

The 39 meters long fog tunnel took me by surprise. I hardly saw anything beyond a meter around me. Space became mysterious and unfathomable deep. I had a sense of being totally lost while also feeling held, though assured in the knowledge that my son was near, and that I could call him and reach out for his hand.

I also reached into the patch of tender rain suffused with spectral

this image is by Yeshen Venema

hues, like just discernible water dust or the finest hair floating down and caressing my skin with moisture.

Moisture – how often do we think of this gentle yet indispensable harbinger of all organic life?

In one room, a kind of Plato’s cave, our back-lit bodies made colourful shadows ahead that shrunk or grew in size as we stepped forward or backwards, or overlapped and multiplied as we moved sideways. The magic was achieved through a row of primal coloured light beams projected onto the wall we visitors faced. Thing is, we are more intrigued, animated and comforted by reflections than the light itself.

It’s why I love the moon, which is going to be full tomorrow.

Here is a ceiling looking back at me. When ceilings fill the frame of our perception, the only landmark we catch is our own image.

Apart from suffering back pain while trying to catch one’s own image, there’s a possible message … let’s not box ourselves into the realities of narrow visions.

And there was so much more to take in and think about in the expanded studio, showing the wider scope of Eliasson’s activities, projects like Little Sun, Green Light and Ice Watch.

On a big round table small and big kids can have fun building architectural structures.

Oh, and we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Tate Modern, while overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral across the Thames in crisp winter light.

It was a very special day in the company of my very special son. In a world that seems distressingly askew these days, it’s heartening to know there is a new generation of sane and life-embracing young people.

Check out some  videos about Olafur Eliasson.

13 Comments

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13 responses to “… in London at the Olafur Eliasson exhibition …

  1. “Fog Tunnel” … interesting. Have been in them on the beach, in the water. Also, unfortunately, even when it’s sunny out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • An odd phenomenon to appear out of the blue, even on a sunny day. Depending on the mind’s stability, it’s a delightful or frightful sensation, and certainly disorientating when there’s not a single landmark in sight.
      I experienced this once before while driving with my dad on the alpine St Bernadine pass. Really scary. I had to open the door to deep a lookout for the cliff edge.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like a lovely day exploring London, the Olafur Eliasson museum, and enjoying your son. These moments are special. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ashen, what a magical day for you and your son! The exhibition sounds extraordinary, other-worldly and you capture the essence of the trip beautifully. I’m intrigued by the fog tunnel and the light room … my friends visited recently and raves about their time there. Your final sentence struck a chord and it’s something I often reflect upon :

    ‘In a world that seems distressingly askew these days, it’s heartening to know there is a new generation of sane and life-embracing young people.’

    So true!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Annika. There are some websites that showcase Olafur Eliasson’s work, not that it beats the actual experience of the installations. And yes, I have good hope our young people will find ways to work together to spark the changes that need to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like a fascinating place! I’m sorry we missed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Those installations sound amazing. I’m fascinated by your photographs. What a lovely way to spend the day. Hope you have a lovely festive season 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What an amazing experience! So happy that you shared a glorious day with your son too, Ashen 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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