Answer, 16

The Saatchi Gallery was in fact, bigger than I had expected and bigger than it looked from the outside. I did not expect there to be three floors worth of work and 14 galleries. Before the visit, I had never considered myself an ‘art’ person, as some may say, but since going there, I have realised how art is not just a certain type of style but can also include pretty much everything. Like other people on the trip, I made the mistake of assuming that I was going to see paintings and sculptures, but I guess that is just the classic. I definitely am more open to exploring other hobbies and other mediums that people have used and are using to express themselves, without actually saying or writing words. Multiple times whilst walking around the gallery, there were some pieces that I did not understand due to how abstract they were, but then I thought that maybe understanding was not the exact point and maybe it was something else. I think that every piece of art is open to interpretation.

“ Before the visit, I had never considered myself an ‘art’ person, as some may say, but since going there, I have realised how art is not just a certain type of style but can also include pretty much everything.”

Two pieces really stood out to me. One being the Coal Mirror by Alejandra Prieto. I initially thought that it was just black paint on a frame, but I liked how she chose to go with a dark and also reflective material, which gives the piece its name – Coal Mirror. I really liked this piece because, although she has not used any bright colours, the dark and reflective material can be used to make links to today’s society. When we look into the mirror, we do not see a reflection of ourselves as we expect it to be or see a reflection of our surroundings as they are to the human eye, but rather we see that everything is black. Perhaps this symbolises the darkness that lurks behind the ‘light’ of societies that comes in the form of ‘change’. I think this piece of work rather exposes our faults rather than hides them. Black is also my favourite colour.

The second piece that stood out to me was the Niagara Falls painting by Valerie Hegarty because according to her, the joy of her work ‘lies in its destruction rather than its making’. Her work is unique as after she has finished it, she destroys it purposefully despite it looking like natural damage. I found her work beautiful. My initial views on the piece were that although in the frame there is a storm within the sea, which Hegarty has painted, the frame itself has been destroyed which made me think that we always see all the bad things that go on in the media and on the internet. What about in our lives? There are so many storms raging around us, but we are sometimes more focused on the storm in the picture, the problems and issues on the internet, rather than the destruction in the frame, the problems in our own lives. The piece also showed me how the storm in the picture also can affect us, when we are only viewing it, as if the painting of Niagara Falls has symbolically affected us on the outside of the painting.