Roger Osborne visited the Art Gallery’s new hands-on show
If you like a good dose of wit with your art, or with life in general, then Rock My Boat will certainly paddle your canoe. Who knew that the Owl and the Pussycat’s pea-green boat was actually made of peas? Or that a Salty Dog can be a canine boat skipper? The first room has big sculptures of these two – the rotating owl’s head and cat’s tail are a sign of things to come – plus a life size iron palm tree.
The next space is taken up with a dazzling mobile sculpture, impossible to describe, essential to see. The artists’ description says what it represents, but I found it better to experience it as both soothing and disturbing.
The final room has the boat you can pedal, complete with passengers with flapping flippers and rotating white stilettos. Then comes the scary eight foot metal minotaur and the mad cow (the best bit for Michael, our ten year old reviewer), with some rotating crying babies for those quiet moments.
While all this is great for kids, there is some seriously interesting art too, as well as a use of materials that goes beyond novelty for novelty’s sake. Art doesn’t have to wear a serious face in order to say something worthwhile.
Rock My Boat by Johnny White and Amanda Wray, at Scarborough Art Gallery until 20 September. Adults £2, under 18s free (or get passes)
- Published in Visuals: Reviews