Well lookee here – it’s Tuesday again already! And what better way to spend a January Tuesday than to pretend we’re all on holiday? So let’s step back in time to the end of October, when Explorer Beastie and I took advantage of the pre-Christmas lull to get away to London for a couple of days. And thanks to our local guide, we discovered a real treasure we wouldn’t have known about otherwise – Pitzhanger Gallery and Manor in Ealing, W5!
After fortifying ourselves with a very delicious lunch in Soane’s Kitchen, we went to check out the exhibition.
What’s this then? Perhaps it will help if we zoom out a little.
This is “Memory Palace”, an 18-metre-wide sculpture by British designer and artist Es Devlin. It’s named after the mnemonic technique where memories are preserved by mentally linking them to familiar locations – I’m sure any fans of “Sherlock” out there will recognise the idea! In “Memory Palace”, each feature on this curved white landscape is a place where a significant societal shift took place.
The memories are organised chronologically, so we move from the Pyramids, the Buddha’s Bodhi tree and the Roman forum…
… To the New York skyline and the Berlin wall. Can you spot them?
Mirrors on one wall and the ceiling expand the boundaries of the sculpture, and slightly change the way you see the individual elements… The same way memory can, I suppose!
There was so much to see, we could have stayed for hours.
Explorer Beastie also quite enjoyed the Godzilla-like feeling of striding around this miniaturised landscape.
If you’re interested in checking out “Memory Palace” for yourself, good news! Its run has been extended until the 9th of February 2020. I’d definitely recommend getting there early, or going at an off-peak time – I’m sure we would have missed a lot of the incredible detail if it had been busy.
You can also learn more about the significant moments captured in the piece at the Pitzhanger library, which has been specially stocked with all the books that informed the installation.
Or, for anyone who isn’t planning a jaunt to London in the next couple of weeks… Es Devlin features in season 1 of the Netflix documentary series “Abstract: The Art of Design”. I watched it a couple of years ago and found it fascinating… But only made the connection between artist and artwork today while I was researching this post. Clearly my own Memory Palace could use a spring clean!
We’ll be back next week (if I remember…) with some more travelling Beastie pics! See you then!