Kings Road has to be one of my favourite roads in London and surprisingly, not because of the shops. That’s not to say that the shops aren’t great because they are, especially now they’ve opened a Brandy and Melville ( I know I could hardly contain my excitement either), but sadly my student budget doesn’t take kindly to frenzied shopping sprees. However, Kings Road is also home to the Saatchi Gallery and it’s free entry!
On Wednesday, my cousin and I entered the gallery with the sole intention of seeing ‘the room full of oil’ – more formally known as Richard Wilson’s site specific installation 20:50 – but found ourselves sidetracked on our hunt by the gallery’s maze of rooms. The rooms are all huge and bare white with artwork sparsely displayed, but instead of being cornered off, you are encouraged to view the work up close.
The highlight had to be the Russian photography as part of the current exhibition ‘Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union’ (23rd November-9th June). The photographs focused largely on deformities of the human body and though many of them were shocking and bordered on repulsive (we’re talking lumpy willies and spotty bottoms), they were also revealing of human suffering and hardship and worked as a powerful counter to the glossy magazine shots of perfectly airbrushed models we see on a daily basis.
The oil room, once we actually found it, was also mind blowing – it literally took us about 5 minutes to work out where the oil began and the room ended…I’m still not entirely sure.
So if you’re planning a trip to Chelsea, the Saatchi Gallery is well worth a visit even if you detest the notion of ‘contemporary art’, there are some really beautiful drawings and the space itself is truly inspiring. Go hunt for that oil room!
My cousin Hattie and part of an installation.
All photographs taken by me.