|Design Museum, London|
|Brit Insurance Design Awards Exhibition 2010, Design Museum, London|
|Young Creative Network Library|
|Soma by Ayala Serfaty|
The highlight for me, by far, was Ai Weiwei's installation for The Unilever Series, Sunflower Seeds. The floor of one end of the turbine hall was covered in hundreds of thousands of ceramic sunflower seeds, created to scale. These created a beautiful grey carpet, intended for people to walk. Heartbreakingly, due to health and safety concerns the installation had been roped off, stopping anyone from walking on it. Despite this set-back, the installation still held its own and created an atmosphere of peace and intrigue.
'These cuts are no blitzkrieg on the arts - funding has been wasted'). Without getting into the politics of her article (since Friday, it has received 110 online comments), I could not understand her use of the sunflower seeds as an example of how Tate Modern wastes it spaces by showing "some piece of tat" in its turbine hall. She criticises the use of high-profile works to draw in younger audiences but when I visited Tate Modern on Friday this installation was achieving just that. The turbine hall was full of secondary school pupils, avidly watching the documentary on how the ceramic seeds were made. How many other opportunities are there in free galleries for school-age children to learn about the skill and patience which goes into objects such as these? In the V&A, there was no film illustrating how the Raphael tapestries were made.
Opinions over the use of arts funding are never going to be objective. For me, Sunflower Seeds is perhaps my pick of the year so far for the emotional responses it provokes and Tate's informative ways of teaching us about the creative process.