So enquires the information board in the Turbine House. What can you see?
An interesting building, made to house fascinating technology. Fabulous views. And a selection of art and poetry that was made to evoke the space it currently inhabits.
Here’s a photograph.
And here’s the rest of the drawing (made from the opposite corner during a lull)
Artikinesis at Blake’s Lock, Reading.
Open 10 to 6 daily until 30 September, 10 to 3 on the final day, 1 October.
This is a photograph taken from the Turbine House’s entrance lobby.
The space is modest, but appealing; walking out over the water, hearing the sound of the river, seeing contrasting views of urban life to the right, tree-lined waterway to the left, with the massive, caged remains of Victorian power transmission embedded within the room … and you encounter an exhibition of artistic vision and poetic words designed specifically for this space, to evoke this space.
This is Artkinesis at Blake’s Lock.
It needs to be seen.
Artikinesis at Blake’s Lock opened today. What with museum visitors, restaurant clientelle, members of the wedding party and art lovers (none of which are mutually exclusive), we had good footfall and an interesting day.
Please note that if you are thinking of visiting us at Blake’s Lock, you are allowed to park your car in the restaurant car park.
The post code for the Turbine House gallery at Blake’s Lock is RG1 3DH Detailed directions can be found here. The exhibition will be open everyday, 10 am to 6 pm, until the end of September. On the final day, 1 October, it opens at 10 am but closes at 3 pm.
Reading seems to be revelling in its year of culture. The town is overflowing with art and culture at the moment, with heritage open days in full swing this week and the new Artangel exhibition at the old prison building.
Adeliza, Rosemary and I met up at Blake’s Lock yesterday afternoon where we marvelled at the variety of work on show at the current exhibition there (a multi-artist show for RG Spaces that focuses on Reading and its rivers and is part of the Heritage Open Days scheme). The exhibition almost suffers from too much variety – cute painted puppies jostle with intriguing microscopic river creatures, printed large on a fabric hanging; solid graphite weir-water hangs in opposition to a sunny scene of leisure boaters; broad strokes and fine pen work sit alongside embroidered panels and stained glasswork; gloriously complex textile art and collage counter bold linocuts.
Rosemary suggested that we head over to the now defunct Reading Gaol to see Artangel’s Inside. With big name artists and a sombre flavour (not to mention a large dash of Oscar Wilde in serious mode), this was an entirely different show. All three of us found the setting disturbing. The artwork – a mixture of painting and other 2d work, installation and writing – had evidently been chosen to reflect the dual themes of incarceration and alternative sexuality, albeit with variable success (this Guardian article summarises the hits and misses far better than I could). Much of the artwork was ensconced in the cells, often one painting at a time. It was an unusual way to encounter art.
It was a relief (no doubt shared by many others in the past) to leave the prison buildings, but the exhibition had weight and was very moving.
“I never saw a man who looked with such a wistful eye upon that little tent of blue which prisoners call the sky” – Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol
I thought of Oscar Wilde, languishing behind bars on his prison plank just beyond the buildings of Blake’s Lock, as our own young poet, deep in his thoughts, took in the atmosphere of his surroundings. Come see the results of his musings, and our own painterly responses to poetry and place between 17 September and 1 October. Expect some very deep stuff.
A quick sketch of the iron bridge near Blake’s Lock. I was particularly fascinated by the growth in the end pillar. Buddleia has seeded itself in the crevices of the structure and has managed to grow profusely! It’s curious, but I love to see nature finding its way back into our often sterile man-made environment. Brian