Changing perspectives at Space Shifters

How does it feel to have your sense of space disrupted? This is the premise of a new exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London. ‘Space Shifters’ ask us, the viewer, to focus our attention on the act of perception, simultaneously transforming our experience of the gallery space, and in turn gallery experience. Here the viewer absorbs the brilliant brutalism of the Southbank Centre building – the sculpted tactile concrete and open skyline – in novel ways. This is an art exhibition presented as a physical and visceral experience. It certainly changes our perspective as well as being hugely entertaining.

Fred Eversley at Shape Shifters at Hayward Gallery

Opening last week, ‘Space Shifters’ features a powerhouse of international artists including Yayoi Kusama and Anish Kapoor. Some of the 20 works are constructed from reflective or translucent materials such as glass, resin and mirror – to elicit responses that are both physiological and psychological. The exhibition is also intended as an alternative view of minimalism – a move away from the usual geometric, austere and serial minimalism, for a more alluring, elegant and playful sensibility.

Alicja Kwade’s WeltenLinie 2017 at Shape Shifters at Hayward Gallery

Some of the artists featured here have explored the double meaning of reflection – the physical mirroring of an object and the contemplative act. One of the highlights is at the top of the concrete ramp, an installation by Daniel Steegmann Mangrané. Inspired by the shape of pouring concrete stairwells, with curtains that echo their curves, his work instigates a new dialogue with the brutalist architecture of the Hayward Gallery building.

Shape Shifters at Hayward Gallery

Roaming around these large-scale sculptural works – some aesthetically stunning – our focus is altered. We see ourselves differently. We become animated with distorted faces and inverted bodies. All across the gallery landscape, visitors interact with the sculptures. They let go of inhibitions for a less formal gallery scene. The building itself also takes on a new narrative both visually and conceptually. The experience can be puzzling but also exciting. For our creative team at Spinach, the act of shifting perspectives is vital to seeing the world in new lights. On until 6 January – not to be missed.

Anish Kapoor, Sky Mirror, Blue 2016 at Shape Shifters at Hayward Gallery
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