Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Power of Making review

Where: Victoria & Albert museum, South Kensington
Verdict: Go see it

What is it? An exhibition that celebrates the manufacturing of objects from across the world, from handcrafted to machine made objects, and from the everyday to the truly unique.

Verdict: As soon as you enter the exhibit you come to face to face with a life-sized gorilla made entirely of coat hangers that is remarkably realistic; thus setting high expectations for the rest of the exhibit.

The next few items of the exhibit are quite mundane. Though I'm sure dry wall and a saddle are hard to make, I have no aspirations of leading a medieval life and the displaying of everyday objects seems like a waste of the limited exhibition space. I recognise the need to show that a lot of what our society makes is for everyday use, but they were the items that least interested me.

Videos showing manufacturing in progress provide some valuable insight but the real stand-outs are the truly unique items. The highlights being: an imagined prosthetic suit for Stephen Hawking that looks like a wooden robot from a B-movie, a Ghanaian coffin in the shape of a lion, a Lego model of a dissected frog, a six necked guitar known as 'the beast', a strange leopard/flower hybrid sculpture made out of sugar, a shark made of tyre rubber and a cake in the shape of a baby that is scarily realistic. These are the ones that most caught my eye but everyone will see objects that really make you smile with their invention.

This exhibition is testament to both human imagination and the ability to realise it. The only downside is that the exhibit is so small that it leaves you wanting more of the same.

Dates: 6 September 2011 – 2 January 2012

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