11 February 2013

With a few hours to spare before the train home from London last week, it was a bonus to be able to catch the incredible Light Show exhibition that has just opened at the Hayward Gallery.

The gallery, part of the Southbank Centre, stays open until 8pm on Thursdays and Fridays, so after finishing the course I was down there for it was a treat to be able to do a touristy thing before heading back.

Light Show has been getting rave reviews, and it's easy to see why - featuring the work of 22 artists, it's the most captivating and exciting exhibition of modern sculpture, installation and interactive work I've ever seen.

Olafur Eliasson's Model for a Timeless Garden, a row of small fountains lit by strobe lights, and Ivan Navarro's Reality Show, a phone-box sized cubicle that reflects lights overhead and underfoot ad infinitum, are just some of the impressive works on display, as well a piece by Dan Flavin, who made his name in the 1960s by pioneering the use of florescent strip lighting as a medium.

One of the things that encouraged me to check Light Show out was its similarity to FACT's own Winter Sparks, which is entering its final few weeks. It may be smaller, showcasing the work of just four artists, but it is just as beautiful, and packs the same kind of visual and emotional punch - capturing that same sense of wonder and intrigue of stepping into the unknown, at once disorienting and beautiful; especially Alexandre Burton's Impacts, which I still find myself sneaking into and staring at whenever I can.

So if you can't get down to the capital to see Light Show, I say come and see something genuinely just as good that is right on the doorstep - and don't miss Winter Sparks before it ends on February 24.