Amongst various methods of procrastination in the vague hope that the washing up will ignore common convention and actually do itself, I remembered that I pay a nominal fee to maintain this here website, and that I haven't actually done anything with it for several months.
And whilst I haven't been writing blog posts (or updating my portfolio images), I have been taking part in a number of activities worthy of sharing. One of the more recent of these activities is a visit to the Heong Gallery at Cambridge's Downing College for an exhibition of Ai Weiwei's Cubes And Trees.
Here are the Cubes.
I shall now proceed to enjoy the remainder of today's summery warmth, sat in the garden, typing words that will educate, and entertain you with my thoughts about this exhibition. I hope it will entertain you anyway, let me know if it doesn't.
For those of you that may be numerically challenged, there are four cubes in total. From front to rear (above) they are: Crystal Cube, Ton Of Tea, Cube In Ebony, and Treasure Box.
But before I get to the cubes, let me show you some wallpaper. Plastered, no hang on, let's go with pasted, that'd be more accurate. Pasted onto the wall of the reception room area of the gallery is Finger Wallpaper, based on a previous body of photographic work from the artist.
It made me chuckle, because I am immature. It would certainly be a good talking point if you put it up in your living room.
Anyway. On to the cubes...
Each cube is 1 cubic meter in size. Having never seen a cube that is 1m x 1m x 1m I was genuinely surprised at how large these things are (The humans in the picture above are averagely sized humans, feel free to use them as some form of rough scale).
Because I am a nerd, my brain immediately associated the size of these things to blocks in Minecraft. The first one I saw was the one to the left; Crystal Cube.
You might notice that the image to the left makes it look a bit more impressive than how it appears in the group shot above. That's the power of post processing folks, I made it look better because in it's original colour it is somewhat unappealing to me. (Feel free to judge me on my unashamed alteration of another artist's work)
Whilst it's quite cool to see a cubic metre of crytal, the chipped corner, bizarrely placed iron rod stuck at the bottom, and generally grubbiness put me off. At least this one can be compared quite accurately to the Glass Block in Minecraft!
Thankfully, the remaining three cubes provided much more interest. Have a look at Ton Of Tea.
This is, as the title rightly suggests, one metric ton of compressed Pu'er tea leaves. Strangely it did not smell much. This would make one hell of a brew.
Next up is a marvel of carving (a marving?). I consider Cube In Ebony to be the most elegant of the four cubes. Ironically, it is made of Zitan Wood. I very much liked the wibbliness, there should be more wibbliness in the art world.
There's almost another Minecraft similarity here, perhaps Ai Weiwei has the Feed The Beast mod installed? (Don't worry if you don't understand that last sentence)
And finally, before exiting the cuboid portion of the exhibition I present the Treasure Box.
This is just a beautifully crafted piece of work. Apparently the side panels slide off revealing a myriad of shelved compartments. I didn't get to see this though so I can't show you, you could try Googling it if you want.
Oh, and I suppose it could be compared to a standard Minecraft chest.
So there endeth the Cubes portion, the next part of the exhibition is outside. And it just so happened to be a rather nice day, huzzah for the English weather eh? Couldn't help but stop for a quick photo as I exited the gallery though, trust me to visit an art exhibition and take a photo of a door handle.
So I'm sure you've guessed that if the first part of today's tale about the Cubes And Trees exhibiton relates to Cubes, the second part must cover the trees. If you didn't, then I shall spare a small amount of pity for you, for you are not the brightest of sparks.
Here they are in all their glory. They're pretty cool.
The are essentially a series of dead portions of trees, sliced up and pieced together (with large bolts) to create haphazard Frankenstein's Monster trees. Ai Weiwei has built trees out of wood, now let me ask you, in what other scenario might it be possible to take (some might say "mine") pieces of wood and craft things that look like trees?
Conclusion of the day (Completely fabricated for the sake of crap humour): Ai Weiwei plays Minecraft. I look forward to his next exhibition of 16 cubes of coloured wool, hopefully with accompanying sheep.
And that brings my story to an end. A rather abrupt one if I'm honest, but I don't have a lot more to say and it's getting quite dark out now. I'll leave you with one more photo though, this time of some gravel and grass. Because I like this kind of stuff.