The brutalist Hayward Gallery on the Southbank is a bit softer at the moment, as it’s been filled with artworks that look at how artists have been inspired by movement, flux and organic growth.

From curving industrial duct pipes to blobs that look as if they’ve oozed out of a corner to living foam twisting and falling as you watch – the exhibition is certainly a varied one.

Opening, pleasingly animated, with a range of fabric lamps that bounce up and down, not unlike jellyfish that can fly, next to an industrial frame filled with foaming troughs that slowly exude living strips that curve and eventually, under their own weight, break off and die.

I’m not quite sure what the neon glowing rollercoaster is doing here – looks fun, but is there enough “art” in what is otherwise just a scale model of a rollercoaster?

What we are told are representations of tunnel boring machines that look to my mind more like giant fungus and, elsewhere, organic forms in a gigantic beehive — fortunately minus the bees, but retaining the beeswax smell.

A lot of the art is somewhat too abstract, too obscure in what it’s supposed to be about, but about half of what’s here clearly suggests some form of organic shaping is going on.

Fortunately, as a large gallery with a lot to see, just half is plenty to enjoy.

The exhibition, When Forms Come Alive is at the Hayward Gallery until 5th May 2024.

Very complicated pricing structure:

  • Standard entry:
    • Tue – Fri & after 5pm on Sat: £18
    • Sat before 5pm & all day Sun. Applies to final 2 weeks of exhibition: £19
  • Concessions for full-time students and recipients of Universal or Pension Credit
    • £15, only available Tue – Fri & after 5pm on Sat. Not available during final week of exhibition (30 April – 6 May)
  • Under-30s & Lambeth residents
    • £8, only available Tue – Fri & after 5pm on Sat Not available during final week of exhibition (30 April – 6 May)
  • Ages 12 – 16: £7
  • Under-12s: Free
  • Members: Free

Plus add £3 booking fee per transaction.

Tickets can be booked in advance from here, or on the day if there’s capacity in the gallery.


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One comment
  1. Renata says:

    I was sad to see that they are not accepting Art Pass anymore. Their exhibitions are always great and paying half price was the only way I could go.

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