Getting invited to press views of exhibitions is one the big upsides of writing an arts and culture blog. Interesting, informative and fun are how I would describe most of them. Glamorous is not a word I would ordinarily use for them. The press view of the Serpentine Pavilion 2017 on Thursday night turned out to more of an opening party and was very glamorous. Wafting around Hyde Park with a glass of bubbles in hand on a summer’s evening admiring the new pavilion was very pleasant.
Every year the Serpentine Gallery (slap bang in the middle of Hyde Park, at the top of the Serpentine) invites an international architect to construct their first structure in London. This year it is the turn of Francis Kéré who originates from Burkina Faso and leads the Berlin-based Kéré Architecture. He has taken his inspiration from a tree that is the meeting point of his home town of Gando.
The wooden roof represents the canopy of the tree and both offers shelter from the rain and heat. The steel framework that supports the roof forms a hollow space in which it is possible to sit and enjoy the sun. When it rains apparently, the water cascades down creating a waterfall effect; no chance of seeing that in the hottest week of the year!
We ventured inside the gallery too to catch a peek at the Grayson Perry show entitled THE MOST POPULAR ART EXHIBITION EVER! On display were lots of his pots, tapestries and a rather fine motorbike. I especially liked the piggy bank that greets you on arrival, it represents all the Brexit view points but most importantly of all acts as a collecting point for donations to the gallery.
If you happen to be in London during the summer, the Serpentine Gallery and Pavilion are free to visit and make an excellent focus for a stroll in Hyde Park.
SERPENTINE PAVILION 2017
Designed by Francis Kéré
23 June – 8 October 2017
GRAYSON PERRY: THE MOST POPULAR ART EXHIBITION EVER!
Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA
Open daily 10am – 6pm