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> > > Hayward Gallery host Martin Creed's 'What's the point of it?'

19 March 2014

Winner of the 2001 Turner Prize, Creed uses a wide range of artistic media and including music, his art changes everyday materials and actions into surprising reflections on life. Jessie Woodward sent in the following review of access within the exhibition, which is on show until 5 May. 

Within this exhibition a variety of mediums stimulate the senses, highlighting bright colours, sounds, interactive elements and video work.

The exhibition guide is written in very small print. When I asked for a larger-print one, the staff had difficulty finding any. No audio version is available. The titles of each piece are written on the walls, but this is of little help due to the small font size used and metre-long barriers which make it hard to get close enough to read them. So, be prepared to form your own opinions of what the work means.

There is limited seating throughout the gallery. Portable stalls can be arranged, but phoning/ e-mailing in advance is advisable. I visited on a Thursday afternoon when the exhibition was not crowded at all. 
 
Wheelchair-users might need assistance with the door to enter the exhibition. A large sofa obstructing the doorway presents a challenge to navigate round; however the enormous revolving light piece above your head offers a great first impact of the work on show.

In the same room, a sound piece created by many metronomes gives off a constant ticking noise. The gallery rooms are open-plan and very spacious. Some of the plinths are close to the walls, and may be impossible for some wheelchair-users to navigate around. 

Most works are, however, well-spaced out, although some are high up on the wall. Barriers surround many of the free-standing works, although not all.  

A video piece in the second room, made of two TVs stacked on top of one another, gives a sense of vertigo, which may affect your balance. Viewing from a chair may be advisable.

The room labelled ‘Exit and Shop’ is not for the faint-hearted. Inside is a video piece containing scenes of unpleasant bodily functions. The room itself is dark with the walls and floor covered in striped coloured carpet. I found the experience strange, as the two juxtaposing elements play with the senses. Watching other people’s reactions to the piece added an interactive element.

Access to the upper floors is well-signposted, although various lifts are required to visit all floors. You must return to the base level from the second floor and cross the main room to the lift to access the top floor. However once you’re at the top there’s the balloon room! This is an adult-sized ball pit filled with balloons. This exhibit does attract dust particles.

The final video piece is projected outside onto the terrace. There is a written warning about its adult content, but again this is easy to miss.

I thoroughly recommend this exhibition. With such a variety of sculptures, light and sound installations, and interactive elements there’s something for everyone. If you’re not keen to be shocked, it may be best to avoid the two video rooms, but even so there’s plenty to amuse you for an hour or so.

There is one accessible toilet at the entrance to the exhibition, but none within the exhibition itself.
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To join the Hayward Gallery Access List, email: accesslist@southbankcentre.co.uk or call the access line on 0844 847 9910
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Article courtesy of Shape Arts

Please cick on this link to visit the Southbank Centre website for more information about the Martin Creed exhibition

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