Hagar, 17

My favourite piece in this exhibition was Valerie Hegarty’s piece Niagara Falls in the first gallery. This depicted a painting of the Niagara Falls, which was torn apart and instantly attracted my attention as I entered the room. Hegarty centres her artwork around the ‘politics of the American myth’ and in my opinion, she’s trying to convey the idea that people are able to and are on the path to destroy natural beauties such as the Niagara Falls, which is a symbol of American strength and dominance. Using this destructed painting, the artist emphasises the effects of global warming and the climate change how they will eventually cause the disappearance of these natural wonders. She brings our attention to the importance of stopping this process now, before it becomes too late. Thus, Hegarty might also be criticising Donald Trump for denying the existence of global warming and climate change, as well as the American government for standing beside him in this. This could be due to the fact that although he is claiming to ‘make America great again’, he is ignoring one of the most important aspects that would make the U.S. seem strong and dominant, which is the preservation of natural wonders, such as the Niagara Falls.

 

As for the rest of the exhibition, a lot of the works made me think more deeply and reflect on identity and its importance, as well as on society. As a whole, unlike our last visit to the Jenny Holzer exhibition, the Saatchi Gallery did not seem fully accessible to everybody, due to the lack of detailed information next to the art. Additionally, although there were booklets available for purchase with some more information, these excluded those not being able to afford them from better understanding the pieces. However, even if you purchased the booklet, the language used was too technical, therefore leading to confusion rather than a better understanding of the exhibition. Thus, this conveyed the idea that although we were able to see this art for free, they were not made and meant for everyone, but a selected few (possibly for the artists themselves) who were the only ones actually able to understand the meaning behind them.